Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The Merry Go Round
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
And Here We Are Again.....
Monday, October 15, 2012
What's the Impact?
Friday, October 12, 2012
Because I Want to Help People!
- renal artery stenosis
- Foley catheter
- butterfly needle
Thursday, October 11, 2012
His pediatrician's office is also making the change to electronic medical records. The whole process from the patient side was relatively painless. We are fortunate in the sense that waiting at healthcare facilities is something we are used to and don't get excited if it's been 30 minutes and we haven't been called. All in all it seems as though the entire office is learning the new system eagerly and patiently. In the end it will be much better for them and the patient.
Yes, It's a Global Issue
Doing What I Love!
What's Your Mental Image of a Child with
High Blood Pressure?
Sign of the Times
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
It has been a tremendously busy day both personally and professionally. There are never handbooks given to new parents when the first baby is born. You really fly by the seat of your pants. I feel like I do alot of that these days. Being prepared to have a child that has been as ill as Matthew has for 5 years is not something that just happens. There is no way to prepare for it. You just do what feels right in your heart and I lean on my faith daily. Often the emotional struggles of illness are just as hard as the physical. Today was one of those days of being tested as a parent to handle the emotional crisis. I think we fared well. All is peaceful in the Goodwin home tonight and both boys have been asleep since 8PM. Praying for a good night's sleep for everyone. I go back to my frequently used saying....."Tomorrow is a new day!"
On the professoinal front I did some further research on the data I found last night. Specifically data related to my home state of Louisiana. I blogged last night about the different health screening criteria by varying states. It is baffling to me to see that there are indeed states in this country that put children's health and safety into the highet regard as to how it pertains to their education and then there are others that are way behind in the game.
Basically there are three screening programs that are listed on the National Board of Education site that each state could possibly use. The only screening programs that Louisiana has in place are for hearing and vision. There are no health/medical forms that need to be submitted other than immunization records in order to register for school. Here is what is required:
- An official birth certificate (children born in Louisiana will receive a 15-day grace period, while children born outside Louisiana will be given a 30-day grace period to produce a copy of their birth record.);
- A record of immunization; and
- An official Social Security card. If no Social Security is available, the student shall be assigned a state identification number.
Why is it that we have several states in this country that require a medical/health evaulation by a licensed physician that INCLUDES a baseline blood pressure reading and there are states that do not. A child that has an underlying condition such as asthma, diabetes, hypertension, etc. could have their education greatly affected. Symptoms that may seem superficial could be indicative of more serious issues. Hypertension for example is called the silent killer because there are often no outward signs or symptons until it has escalated. A child with continued headaches or dizzy spells will not be able to function in class and perform at their peak. Therefore, they will not be learning at their full potential.
It is time for a change. There are some goals I have made and will be moving forward. I will not rest until every child in this country is receiving routine bp screens. They need to start by age 3 but a beginning point can be with school health screenings required to start kindergarten. This is a movement that must move forward.
Monday, October 8, 2012
This means that a child who does not get blood pressure screens as part of well child visits would not even have the opportunity to have a bp taken as a requirement for part of a screening to start school through a chronic health condition screen or BMI screen.
I would like to point out that one of the states that stood out for a very proactive approach in keeping their kids healthy was Rhode Island. If you are a parent with a child in any of the above listed states and can tell us about any other required medical/health exam for school aged children we would love to hear it.
One thing I have witnessed first hand is what works and what doesn't work when it comes to patient care. This is true of various settings such as inpatient, outpatient, private practice, lab, etc. There is one common element that is found far more than anything else. A true and genuine love of children and helping them to feel better. It is such a peaceful feeling to be able to say this. Now, that is not to say that with every wonderful adventure comes some adversity. This proves true of patient care.
I think there are two terms that are often confused in terms of medicine. Patient care as opposed to health care. My personal belief is that patient care is a much more specific, centered, act of directly impacting someone's health. There is good patient care and then there is over the moon patient care. Personally, I would rather see over the moon patient care in every instance. This is just not so. Too many variables play into this. Many of which are very easy to overcome with a little work and understanding. I have learned that first and foremost if a nurse, lab tech, radiology tech, doctor, housekeeper, etc. brings baggage with them inside the hospital doors when their shift starts then patient care will suffer. If their head is not in it, then someone will be affected.
I have spent a great deal of time over the past few years sharing Matthew's journey and struggles with hospitals and nursing schools in hopes to bring a better understanding of how pediatric blood pressure monitoring has been viewed. And also to show a side of caring from a patient's perspective. We have encountered literally 100's of nurses in the course of 5 years. Countless physicians, residents, med students, attending physicians, and fellows. Numerous lab and radiology techinicians. Each of them made an impact on us. Some good, some horrible. The words and actions of those that made a bad impression could have been changed in order to leave a different impression.
There is no parent I have ever met that would want anything ill to happen to their most precious gift, their child. Myself included. I remember being pregnant with Matthew and sobbing while I watched the St. Jude shows. I always pledged my support and my heart was ripped at the thought of what despair those parents faced with such sick children. Rubbing my belly I prayed that God would keep my unborn child healthy and safe until I could hold him. Feeling as though I could protect him from the world after he was born if I could just get him in my arms.
I guess this held true for 4 1/2 years until the time came that I felt more helpless than I had ever felt in my entire existence. Matthew's little life was a that of a typical little boy he lived in a growing family. We added his little brother, Conner, two years after Matthew was born. In 2007 we had just finished building our dream home, Matthew started preschool, and live seemed to be moving in the direction my husband and I had dreamt about since we said "I DO!"
March 2007 proved to be one of the most trying months. Matthew had been treated off and on for most of the winter with recurring ear infections and strep throat. It was decided that he should visit an ENT and have surgery. On March 28, 2007 Matthew left my husband and I as a child who would return forever changed. I have often wished I could rewind back to the 30 mins prior to surgery so I could look at the innocence of that sweet 4 year old's face. This is an innoncence he would never know again. Something so simple as a surgery to have tubes placed in his ears and to have his adenoids removed. It is done by the 1000's each day with minimal complications. However, this was not to be the case for Matthew.
He began to have severe vomiting after being home for a few hours and he had to be brought to the emergency room. He was subsequently admitted after spending over 6 hours in the ER. Upon admission his blood pressure was 195/135. This was potentially life threatening for a four year old child. I want to note that his blood pressure was not taken one time during the entire 6 hours he was in the emergency room. Hard to believe? Have you ever really given any thought as to whether all emergency departments take a child's blood pressure. There is an easy answer. No, not all ed's take bp in children unless they are over 12 or 13 or they come in as a trauma patient. (We are changing this!)