2011 08/03

Hospital Bedside Manners

Due to me having a C-section and Talon loosing more weight than the doctors thought was acceptable, we ended up staying in the hospital for three long and painful nights.  Most people would have looked at this as a little vacation (no extra kids running around, people bringing you your meals and cleaning up after you) but, honestly, I was ready to be out of there after the first night.

Aside from the hospital bed being so unbelievably uncomfortable, I quickly got tired of the nurses and doctors coming into my room at all hours of the night.  Two things that I quickly learned in those three nights at the hospital — Night-shift nurses are very, very different from day-shift nurses and hospital pediatricians suck, which is kind of ironic to me.

The Nurses

I  must say that I was pretty lucky with the nurses that I had taking care of me in the hospital.  Overall they were very good.  The day-shift nurses were some of the sweetest and most compassionate nurses I’ve ever met.  The night-shift nurses…well, they were different.  They were still good at their job, they just went about it in a more abrasive way.

Seriously, why is it that night-shift nurses have zero regard for the fact that their patients might actually be sleeping at 3am and that turning on all the lights at full level  when they come in might not be the nicest thing?  Or that it might be nice to use a quieter voice when entering that room at 3am?

We actually had one night nurse come wheeling Talon and his little nursery cart into our room in the middle of the night and said in a very loud voice as she entered the room, “Here comes a sleeping baby!”  Needless to say, he was not sleeping after that.

Also, after you leave that room (the one where the patient and her husband were sleeping), could you maybe turn the lights off again?  No?  Ok, I guess we’ll get up and do that for you!  Honestly, I didn’t mind the vital checks every other hour, and thus being woken up every other hour throughout the night, but let’s work on some of those night-time bedside manners!

Then there’s always the topic of the student nurses who I got the pleasure of having work on me!  Good thing I was so beyond tired to care that I had this student nurse (he couldn’t have been more than 19) removing my catheter!


Apparently I have the crappiest luck when it comes to Pediatricians in the hospital.  Actually, I just have crappy luck when it comes to Pediatricians all together!

We had a HORRIBLE experience with the Pediatrician at the hospital when Abbi was born.  So bad that she actually called CPS on us because we would not agree to do certain things she wanted us to do.  I don’t remember the Pediatrician from Zoe’s birth so I guess it couldn’t have been too horrible.  And then there was the Pediatrician from Talon’s birth…

Let me first say that the Pediatric Nurse Practitioners were really good.  Then there was the actual Pediatrician who the only time we even saw him was when he came barging into our room at 4am one morning telling me that Talon’s weight was dropping WAY too low and that we HAD to supplement his feedings!!!  Confused and still trying to wake-up, I tried asking him questions about how the supplementing work, why I would choose donor milk over formula, what would happen when we went home if we were still supplementing, and how this would affect the breastfeeding.  He had zero desire to answer my questions.  He made me feel like a complete idiot and as though I shouldn’t even be asking these questions.  I should just accept what he was telling me and do it.  No questions asked.

Sorry, have you met me?  I don’t do things just because you tell me to do it.  Even if you do have a degree.  Especially if you are in the medical field.  It’s my job to ask questions.  I’m the mom.  I am the one who will be living with whatever decision is made.  Not you, Mr. Pediatrician.  You won’t even remember my baby’s name tomorrow.  Why is it that you think you get to decide what is best for my baby?

Thankfully that was the night that Tim stayed with me so I was not alone dealing with this jerk.  I basically asked him (the Pediatrician) to leave my room because he was not listening to anything I was saying.  It actually all worked out eventually because our nurse came in and talked things through with us and answered the questions and concerns we had.  But I’m still left with a distaste for Pediatricians!  Sorry if you’re a Pediatrician or know one…I’m sure he/she is fabulous.  I’ve just had pretty rotten luck so far!

How were your experiences with the nurses and doctors at the hospital when you had your baby?  Any horror stories or were they all absolutely fabulous?


  • My oldest was born at Metropolitan in GR by C-section before they moved to their new building. We had a pretty good experience there. Although we did feel like the nurses kind of talked down to us like they thought we were idiots because it was our first child.

    My second was born by C-section at Borgess in KZoo, and it was horrible. We had the same thing with rude nurses. And unresponsive nurses. The only way I got any pain medication after they took the IV away was if I asked instead of them bringing the right dose how many ever hours I was supposed to be taking it. I called the nurses station in pain several times over a two hours before someone finally brought me some Vicoden. Then they acted like it was a bother for them to bring it to me. There were several incidents like that.

    I’ve had other bad experiences with going to the hospital for tests. I don’t get why they’re so rude. You or your insurance is paying them lots of money, and they treat you like crap?

  • We had a completely different experience. Our night nurses were amazing, friendly, sweet and gentle. With both children they sat with me while we worked on nursing. They understood how tired I was the second night and took the baby. They gave me the sleeping medication! (I can’t sleep after epidurals for some reason.)

    But the day nurses sucked. The first time, the nurse was really harsh about breastfeeding, wanted to supplement and was really forceful in helping me.

    The second time, the nurse was the same way about nursing, but I was wise enough to continually ask for the lactation consultant whenever she would bring it up. She did, however, argue with my husband. Then she sent in some random pediatrician and gave us the excuse that we must have written that our intake paperwork. Why would we make up a doctor we didn’t even know?

    All in all, my experiences were great. I loved the pediatric nurse who was there for my second baby’s birth. She was amazing in talking me through what she called “the ring of fire.” I just wish that hospitals day nurses had more respect for people.

  • Let’s see … the day Olin was born I had great nurses both during the day and that night. Then I kept getting this annoying night nurse constantly waking me up, barely speaking English, and slow with the meds. They were all very sensitive to my situation, and I even had one who had a preemie herself, so it was nice to have someone who could relate to me. The hospital I was at was absolutely amazing – won’t consider another place to have a baby ever. Same with the NICU, 98% of the nurses were just amazing. It really made the 2% look like the grim reaper.

  • We had great nurses and doctors. The only flack we got was when we wanted to circumcise the boys. The doctor felt that was just cruel and unusual punishment and really tried to talk us out of it.

  • Wow! That’s so weird because now they look at you funny if you say you DON’T want to circumcise your baby boy.

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