Remember what you learned in kindergarten and be kind (to the hospital staff!)

If there’s one thing that doesn’t bring out the best in people, it would be a sudden trip to the hospital. Let’s face it – it’s never easy.

With 3 kids with asthma, it seemed like one of my kids was always sick when they were little. We had 12 VERY scary trips to the hospital for asthma.

It would start when one of my kids would wake up with a runny nose, which would quickly progress to a nasty cough and difficulty breathing, and then we would end up in the hospital – it seems like was just that fast!

And of course, the kids would always get worse as the night went on. So, we would end up in the Emergency Department at 2 am.

I don’t function well without sleep, but I always tried to be kind to the hospital staff. After all, they are there to help me.

Did I always get the best nurses or doctors? No. Some doctors didn’t have the best bedside manner or think that I was worrying too much. But they would quickly see I was right when the kid’s oxygen level would drop.

Then we would usually be in the hospital for 3 days while we waited for the oxygen and steroids to do their trick.

During that time, we did have a lot of good nurses, CNA’s (certified nursing assistants) and doctors. And they were kind to us as a family – because we were kind to them. And I’m glad I was!

I just read a VERY interesting article from the New York Times called, “What Happens When Parents Are Rude in the Hospital”.

In a study in Israel, they had a “simulated crisis scenario” (actors would pretend to be parents with a realistic looking plastic baby). The “parents” would say something rude or unpleasant to the hospital staff in the study. What happened? Here’s what they found:

“But even such mild unpleasantness was enough to affect doctors’ and nurses’ medical skills. Individual performance and teamwork deteriorated to the point where diagnostic skills, procedural skills, and team communication were impaired and medical errors were more likely, compared to control scenarios in which the mother would just say something general about being worried. The team’s ability to perform in critical medical situations with sick babies was affected for the rest of the day, the findings suggest.”

Wow! Parents being rude to doctors can affect how they treat your child!? This study was done in a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.)

But I’m sure the same thing would happen to kids (not just babies) in the hospital.

So, the next time you have a kid in the hospital, think about this study. And remember the line from the live-action Cinderella movie.  “Have Courage and Be Kind.”

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