In October 2017, I had to take my daughter in for an MRI under conscious sedation during what I now regard as one of the scariest days of my life. My sweet little 4-year old needed an MRI of her brain, with and without contrast, to rule out a brain tumor due to some physical and neurological symptoms she was experiencing.
It was difficult to deal with since I was adamant that the test be done around my busy schedule and wanted to know every detail of how things were done. A kind nurse dealt with my frustrations like a true, professional nurse would and she reassured me that everything would be okay and she would work with my schedule and be there to support me all along the way. She was right! She called me the day before to reassure me that it was okay, talk to me about the medications they would use, go over the procedure (again) and even told me that she worked it so that my daughter was the only one scheduled that day so I could come in first thing and have their full attention.
The nurse never left our side. Her kind demeanor and ability to immediately build a rapport with our daughter put us at ease. Our daughter is terrified of needles but the nurse coached her through it and the IV went seamlessly. The Child Life Specialist was called due to her fears and prior history.
Our daughter ended up having an allergic reaction to the Ketamine injection and I was holding my baby in my arms, eyes dancing and covered in a rash. The nurse and the anesthesiologist acted quickly and calmly and within seconds had given her Benadryl and the rash began to dissipate. The nurse talked to me the whole time and her calmness allowed me to relax. She stayed at our bedside and kept me distracted so I wouldn’t be so nervous. When it was time for her to go to the MRI room, the nurse stayed with her until it was time for them to start the procedure. She even came and checked on me. She stayed at our daughter’s bedside the entire time, reassuring me and walking us through what was going on as she woke up. She waited with us until the radiology report was finished and brought us a copy.
This humble nurse probably doesn’t even realize the impact she made on me because this is how she treats her patients every day, but I will never forget her. As a critical care nurse and prior Navy Medic, I can keep my cool in even the most intense of situations. But as a mom, waiting to find out if my baby had a brain tumor, I was a wreck. She showed such compassion and caring and went out of her way over and over again to make sure we were alright. Kim is the epitome of what a caring nurse looks like and is a role model for other nurses, including me. Thank you, Kim, for your dedication and for being a bright light in our lives on such a dark day.