Thursday, October 7, 2010

Persevering through the good, the bad and the ugly

These last two weeks at work have rocked Seattle Children's to the core and caused the entire community of Seattle to turn on our once untouchable hospital. It's amazing to me how quickly the media can turn. I see it everyday in tabloids and in the papers. The once prestigious icon has become a scandalous wreck. That exactly what has happened at Children's. Rewind back three weeks ago and all you hear about Children's is the amazing work it does everyday. The children we save each day, the miracles performed by the best doctors and nurses in the world, the break thoughs in cancer and cystic fibrosis research that will save millions of lives now and the year to come. Now the headlines say something different.
It is tragic, truly, truly tragic. As a mother and a nurse, my heart absolutely breaks for the families that were affected. There truly is nothing that we can do to take back what has happened. But I also know that things aren't as black and white as papers are making it out to seem. It's never just one person, just one break in the system. All the individuals involved in these fatal errors were true professionals. They had been doing their jobs for years and years. It was as simple as a mathematical error or a laps in judgement or a misunderstanding. The actions performed were done with the patients best interest at heart. Sadly, in the process of helping the patient, they indeed hurt them and ultimately killed them. I can't even imagine.
I have thought of the nurse in the Cardiac ICU daily since this news came out. I have tired to imagine what she must be feeling and how she is reacting to the backlash of our beloved hospital has received, all stemming from that one bad day with that one fatal mistake. I know she must know that it could have happened to anyone. That we all make mistakes. But how is she coping, knowing a child died. A child she no doubt cared very deeply for, as she had taken care of that child for 8 months. I hope there is someone who is wrapping their arms around her right now. I hope she finds comfort and joy in knowing the there are hundreds of nurses, doctors, RT's, Social workers, ES workers, family and friends on her side. I hope that she is able to lay down at night and feel the Lords arms around her with Him whispering in her ear the He loves her and He is holding her tight all day and night through this storm. I don't know who she is, but I know she is loved.
This has brought me back to my very bad day a little over a year ago. My one very bad mistake. I can't help but think, this could have been me. It could have been me! By the grace of God, it wasn't, but it only took a second, a momentary lap in my thought process. I could have harmed a child, I could have brought the hospital to it's knees. It gives me chills to think about. My own mistake and the mistake of the others involved most currently have forced me to reevaluate my practice everyday. To make sure i am doing everything I can to be safe and following the policies and procedures to the t.
Although I have stopped watching the news as I can't stand to hear all the speculations and lies, I do have to say, I have seen an outpouring of support from many of people in the community. There are many people out there supporting us and the staff involved, and to that I say thank you. I am proud of where I work and what we do everyday. We truly are doing God's work and I see His hand everyday. God does teach us that there will be struggles, this is ours and we will persevere.

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