By A. Hosack, P. Berman, & K. Hecht
I will not just get used to it. I became a nurse to help people. There must be something I can do.
Nurse Karin is still worrying about Claire even hours after she wheeled her downstairs. She usually helps the new mom and baby get into the car, but Claire’s dad hadn’t arrived yet and she got an emergency call to rush up for a delivery. The delivery took about two hours; of course, by the time she checked downstairs, Claire and Davy were gone. Nurse Karin wished she had met Claire’s dad. She still felt uneasy that no one in her family had contacted Claire in the hospital.
Nurse Karin graduated with her LPN last summer. This is her first position at a hospital, and she loves it. However, she isn’t loving it now. When she checks in at the nursing station, the head nurse warned her that she just couldn’t spend this much time with all her patients; she had to learn to pace herself and not get overly involved. New mothers were always in labor, giving birth, staying overnight, and going home. The older nurse told Karin that after she had worked at the hospital for two years, she would have grown accustomed to the many, “Claires” who come through the maternity ward, and learn to just check their vitals and move on. Just check vitals and move on? It had been the “extra time” talking to Claire and educating her about Davy that she had found so rewarding. Maybe the head nurse was wrong? Karin had a lot of paperwork that had built up on her desk while she had been checking on other mothers, she realized she had two hours left on her shift yet already felt bone tired; maybe she had spent too much time with Claire and the other mothers.
After a good night sleep, Karin decided “growing accustomed,” and only checking the vitals of the young mothers in her unit was not an option. She called the Nurse-Family Partnership and asked if they could ever come to the hospital to help mothers before they were released? She was told that they didn’t have the funds for this and in fact, always ended up turning mothers away every year because they had spent all their funds. It was strange, unlike the discouragement Karin felt when the head nurse had talked to her, this bad news just energized Karin. She was going to do something to help young mothers. She logged into her computer and sent a message to her state representative asking him to support the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act of 2018.
If you feel energized like Claire, consider supporting expanded funding and research for mothers with premature infants. Click this link: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s3029
After clicking, you will have to do a few more clicks (like identifying your local representative through zip code) but you get what you need in less than two minutes. Here is an example letter sent to a representative:
If you want to support the NFP but don’t know what to say, you can copy the letter below and use it.
I am writing to ask you to vote for S. 3029, the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act of 2018. It costs a lot to keep an infant in intensive care (approximately $3,000 per day based on an article by Drs. Michael Kornhauser and Roy Schneiderman, 2010) so expanded research for premature infants and pregnancy support is critical. Please help reduce health costs for mothers and the public while supporting human life.
Thank you for your time.