Dear Future Physician,
I congratulate you on your choice of career, it is a difficult path for you and your family. As the mother of a child who suffered a serious injury, spent five weeks in two hospitals, and who is still under a physician's care two and a half years later, I know there are things that would have made the experience easier.
Since my daughter's injury was an accident we were thrown into the hospital world unexpectedly. In fact my husband wore his swimsuit for three days straight. We were frightened and confused. The fact that this occurred while we were on vacation out of state made it even more difficult.
1. Please do not repeat painful tests if the answers aren't worth the pain and don't contribute to better care.
2. Please do not use words like amputation around a child unless you speak to her parents first.
3. Please do not make jokes about the circumstances of the accident.
4. Please don't question why she is in ICU when she is on a ventilator, it shows that you aren't even looking at my daughter.
5. If we want to fly our daughter home and it can be safely accomplished, please try to help us.
5. Don't be afraid to tell us you don't have all the answers, otherwise we might feel like you are misleading us.
6. Please don't be offended if we ask who is the best in the field of care required.
7. I know you have a lot of patients, but if possible please look at the record and call me Mrs. Gxxxxx and not "mom."
Do keep us informed.
Show concern if you are concerned.
Thank you and best wishes!
8/1/2005 14 year old daughter was pulled by a ski rope wrapped around her leg. Cut two arteries, resulted in 8 debridements, muscle transfer and skin graft, and second skin graft a year later.