The Truth About Riley Nurses.

I have been asked to be a guest blogger for Riley Children’s Hospital, where our son received much of his chemotherapy and treatment for leukemia. I will periodically be writing entries on this blog that pertain to our “Riley Journey.” The hospital will then pull entries they feel are appropriate and put them on their Riley blog here: This is one of those entries. I thought it was fitting for National Nurses Week (May 6-12, 2012)
Thanks for reading! 

The doctors at Riley are amazing. Their knowledge, research, and leadership are stellar and effective. I am so very thankful for them.

But, let’s be honest here. Where would we be without the nurses?

I think even the doctors would agree that the care given by the nurses at Riley Hospital is what makes the “wheels go round.” The doctors are the engines, but nurses are the coal that stoke the firebox of care given at Riley. And that makes the Riley Express sail full-steam ahead!

Not to single out any nurses, but I know first-hand that the ones on the hematology/oncology unit at Riley are amazing. I remember walking into that unit for the first time ever with a very ill child. My husband and I were shell-shocked, stunned, in denial and overwhelmed. The nurses knew not only how to handle our little boy, but they knew how to handle us too. We were given “baby steps” and the nurses knew just how much information to give us along our difficult journey.

During some of our son’s painful procedures the nurses were the ones who pulled up a chair for my wobbly body and slid it under me while gently patting my shoulder. They didn’t judge, mock, or express inpatience. They were calm, soothing, smart and even witty.

Our son’s nurse practitioner became like family over his three plus years of chemotherapy. She knew his likes, dislikes, temperament and medical chart. She always had time to listen to him and could amazingly always “find” Thomas the Tank Engine in his ear while looking through the otoscope. She helped put him at ease through countless blood draws and spinal taps, making them become almost effortless instead of dreadful. It takes a special person to do such a thing.

She not only listened to our son, but she listened to us parents. She was knowledgeable and yet not intimidating. She was realistic, but not overwhelming. She was sweet and friendly and gentle. She made the “wheels go round” during our trips to Riley. She’ll always be a part of our family’s history. We send her a Christmas card… it’s the least we can do!

So, as wonderful as the doctors are at Riley, I just wanted to take a minute to thank you nurses. You probably don’t get as much “limelight” or attention. You do a lot of paperwork and busy-work, but please know that to us Riley parents it’s NEVER busy-work when it has to do with our child.

THANK YOU nurses for ALL you do for the children of Riley Hospital! Keep that Riley engine running full-steam ahead. Your passengers sure are grateful!

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