state of emergency
The last weekend began with a stay in the emergency room of a large Berlin hospital. The son was so unfortunate against the heating when he romped that within a short time a massive swelling of the head was formed. We as parents just could not differentiate it as “harmless” or “dangerous” anymore. In addition, the details of a five-year-old and his behavior after the accident are somehow too unclear to judge whether something worse has happened.
Our concern was accordingly great when we sat there in the rescue center on Friday afternoon. In twelve years of parenting with meanwhile four children we had to sit here only once as a result of a school accident of the daughter. Other parents or their children caught more often, but you will not get used to it. Because in the childrens rescue center you do not sit without a reason. Or at least I hope that none of the parents present use this place as a pediatrician replacement on the weekend, because the child has had a cold for days. Because the “non-emergencies” are often what makes the waiting here so long.
The son is already doing much better when we sit in the rescue center, although the swelling is still worryingly large. In between we ask ourselves if we still belong to the emergencies or if we can estimate that ourselves. In the end, of course, it is not really possible for me to make a meaningful judgment about the condition of the little one.
Absolute state of emergency
For us parents, this situation is an absolute state of emergency. For all who work here in the rescue center, it is absolute everyday life. Although I have spent many years working as a nurse and later as a midwife in the clinic, this place is strange to me and somehow uncomfortable. The smell of disinfectant is familiar to me and also lying work materials are all known to me – and yet everything feels so strange that our already tense nerves by the accident is not exactly relaxed.
And then we are finally tuned after just under an hour and a half waiting. A younger, very nice doctor listens to our story. She talks sensitively to our son, so that he can easily be examined by her. It turns out that the skull is unharmed except for the massive bruise. She lets us go again with a roadmap with which symptoms we should quickly come back in case of doubt.
The son tells her that his mom is “also a midwife” and we exchange a few words. Our tension is reduced, so that relativizes itself and also fear and worry about our little ones. When we leave the clinic and walk home with our children through the nearby park, I have to remember how important other people are in such situations. And I do not just mean their technical knowledge. It is as much as we are encountered as human beings when we are in a state of emergency that is for other everyday life. That’s exactly how it is as a midwife in the delivery room.
People make the difference in hospital operation
Your own workplace and colleagues are familiar. For the pregnant woman, who is ringing at the delivery room door, everything behind it is new and strange. Even if she has previously visited the information evening of the respective obstetric department. And let’s face it. Even though the maternity clinics try to create a “homey ambience,” it still often looks more like a hospital than a home. The extensive hygiene guidelines or fire protection measures alone ensure that the options are simply limited. The nice flower picture on the wall does not necessarily make up for the surgical light over the delivery bed.
But what quickly gives a homely and good feeling, is the meeting with nice people in this exceptional situation. They just have a few soothing and maybe personal words left over for one. Even in the hustle and bustle of crowded ambulances and stations, find the time to explain to someone what’s going on or what’s going to happen. It is rarely the equipment that ensures that patients relax in the “emergency state hospital”. Alone people make the difference in hospital operation.
And that’s why it’s so important that every midwife, every doctor, every nurse, and every person working there have enough time to meet their patients in a way that not only makes them feel at ease. I know only too well how quickly one sometimes forgets in the hectic clinic routine that the everyday life of the staff there has nothing to do with the normal everyday life of the people who come there with their complaints and the associated fears and worries. It is always a state of emergency. Unfortunately, our healthcare system hardly understands this. Ultimately, it compensates only for what is “made” and not what is said. But that is exactly what can make a big difference.
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