SPS Plenary Session | May 20, 2019, 9:30 am
This session took us on a thoughtful journey in the life of Cruise and Jennifer Verdecchia.
Jennifer gives us careful details about what it feels like to have a child sedated – and sedated often. Jennifer is the Mom to four boys, ages seven, five, two and one years. Cruise, her oldest son, was diagnosed with malignant rhabdoid tumor as an infant. Cruise has required sedated MRIs routinely every 3 months at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Jennifer tells us that the family has now moved to Denver, but she still flies back to Atlanta to maintain consistency in Cruise’s care.
Jennifer admits that Cruise’s journey has been challenging but rewarding. She also admits that sedation providers have a challenging but rewarding job. We are here to make a difference in both the lives of our patients and their parents. Some advice she gives us:
- Remember first: I’m here because I’m trusting you. My child’s life is in your hands.
- You are meeting me on my worst day. I’m worried about the sedation itself, the test, and the test results. Please surround us parents with compassion and grace.
- Please remember that parents are fragile and emotional when their child is sedated. It is dramatic for us.
- It is very helpful if you communicate what will happen – wait times, scan times, etc.
- When you come into the sedation room, please tell me your name and your role. There are a lot of people involved in our care and this helps us feel at ease and clear up any confusion.
- Parents want to be a part of the medical team. We know our child better than anyone. We want to comfort our child, especially when they are sedated and when they wake up. We want to hold their hand.
- Could more thought be given into NPO guidelines for longer procedures? Sometimes, just clear fluids the morning before or if a procedure is running late would help with a difficult IV start or generally just make the day more tolerable.
- If you are able, take an extra 2 minutes out of your day and give a kind and reassuring word to a patient and their family.
- When you come into work, remember perspective. It is a frame of mind that shapes you. Each moment is precious.