Hearing the words, “We don’t know how you’re daughter is functioning normally” filled me with a fear and sadness no parent should have to feel. We had just went in for an MRI because her doctor was concerned her head seemed to be growing at an abnormal pace. We really expected nothing to come of it. The doctors informed me Maddilyn not only had a subdural hematoma (which is doctor speak for a blod clot on her brain) but “something else” too. What something else?! What was going on? We were rushed to Motts Childrens Hospital, one of the best in the world.

While we knew we were in good hands, we were scared out of our minds and the thought didn’t offer much comfort. Especially when no one could answer our questions – no one had the answers. Words like brain surgery and shunts were tossed around. We were scared and were rarely in contact with the doctors. After more test still hadn’t produced a result they admitted us to the children hospital. How long will we be here?  Two days? Three? We didn’t know.

We settled into our room and then went to wait with over 20 members of our immediate family. You see I have a large immediately family and when you add my husbands side we were bursting the waiting the room. When things like this happen everyone is there. No one goes through anything alone.

It was during the time that everyone sat around quietly waiting, a nurse in a bright cheery uniform comes in and promtply halts. 20 sets of eyes stared her down waiting for answer. We knew we would like her when, after she got over her initial shock she started making jokes, answering questions and miracously picked up my daughter without Maddilyn screaming her head off.

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I was impressed. We were kept overnight and Diane stopped in often, played with my daughter, and made it her mission to look after her. When my daughter was scared about receiving shots and IV’s she offered to be the one who gave them to her because she was most familiar to Maddilyn. She brought us anything we needed, and really made everyone as comfortable as possible. Diane spoke to the nurses in my family like professionals and spoke to the rest of us in terminology we would understand.

When it was late and we still didn’t have answers she badgered the doctors until our questions were answered even if it was  “I don’t know yet.” Eventually  we found out my daughter had a subdural hemotoma on top of an Arachnoid Cyst. I was told we would have all of our questions answered in the morning but still no one was sure if surgery would be required.

To make a long story short my daughter just celebrated her second birthday and she is a perfectly normal, active two year old. We won’t ever forget the scare we had on her first birthday or the lessons it taught us. We also have never forgotten Diane, the special nurse, who went above and beyond her job description to help us.  I’m not sure I would have kept my sanity if it hadn’t been for her. Nurses offer patients comfort, care and skill that is desperately needed in patient care.  She truly was an amazing nurse , and coming from a family of nurses, that compliment isn’t given out easily.

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Sadly, it isn’t always possible for nurses to give that kind of time or dedication to each patient. Not because they don’t wish to but because they are often over worked and under staffed. Did you know the healthcare field is experiencing a severe shortage of nurses; there is currently a nationwide vacancy of over 100,000 nursing positions, and that number is expected to grow to 800,000 by the year 2020? I’m not sure I would have kept my sanity if it hadn’t been for our special nurse. Nurses offer patients comfort, care and skill that is desperately needed in patient care for the patients, parents and family too. I hate to think that another family would have to go through what we went through without a dedicated nurse by their side.

The upside to this shortage is that the career outlook is excellent for the nursing field.  Nurses offer patients comfort, care and skill that can not be duplicated or replaced. The time is now to encourage and celebrate the important role nurses play in our healthcare system. Johnson & Johnson is doing just that with the Amazing Nurses Contest! Johnson & Johnson recognizes the impact nurses make on the lives around them wants to celebrate Amazing Nurses. If you know of an Amazing Nurse who has impacted you or someone you know with their comfort, care or skill then take a moment to tell their story and nominate a nurse in the Amazing Nurses Contest.

  • Ten (10) Finalists will be honored on the Amazing Nurses contest page of the Nursing Notes by Johnson & Johnson Facebook page and will receive a commemorative plaque.
  • One (1) Winner will receive a 4 day/3 night trip for two (2) to Los Angeles, California and two (2) VIP tickets to attend the 2012 CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute live broadcast show, courtesy of CNN. He or she will also be featured in a video profile, to be screened to the audience at the 2012 CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute show and featured on the Nursing Notes by Johnson & Johnson Facebook page.
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(*Eligible Nominees for the Amazing Nurses contest must be a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) who currently administers direct patient care.)

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Johnson & Johnson and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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5 comments

  1. I’m glad a horrible experience was made easier due to an exceptional nurse. I used to run a healthcare staffing agency and know firsthand the value of a personable and knowledgeable nurse that also loves their job. We had a scare with our daughter when she contracted bacterial meningitis a week before her 1st birthday, so although different circumstances, I know that terrified feeling of being in a hospital with the unknown. I’m glad Maddilyn is well now and your nurse, Diane was so helpful!

  2. I worked in healthcare administration for several years and learned the value of a great nurse. What to every metric measurable? Hire good nurses.

  3. She sounds like the perfect person to be a nurse! You are right, a lot of times they are overworked and can even be a little short with patients. It’s so nice to have a helpful one.

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