Sunday, September 27, 2009

Who's in pain?

As a paediatric nurse, I find myself learning about parenting do's-and-don'ts through observing real life cases along the way. One such interesting example is the mother of a recent GE case.

The mother was very agitated and fretful over her 3 years-old son. She rang the call-bell almost every 5 minutes for assistance and to highlight repeatedly that her child complained of pain. The mother varied her indicated location of the child's pain -- abdomen, IV drip site on the left hand, anus, generalized pain or some non-specific location. Here's my observation during one of those call bells.

I saw the child watching TV and the mother talking to the child.

“有沒有痛?有沒有痛?”, the mother kept pestering her child repeatedly, raising her voice and tone in agitation with each repetition of her question. ["Is there any pain? Is there any pain?"]

Her child was watching TV calmly. When the mother started raising her voice, he looked worried and confused at his mother. Finally, he lowered his eyes.

“是不是手?是不是手?” the mother continued in her agitated tone. ["Is it the hand? Is it the hand?"]

Then the child looked at his left hand with the IV drip in-situ. He seemed somewhat confused.

At this point, the mother then concluded, “Nurse 啊!Nurse 啊!我的兒子一直講他的手很痛,leh!” ["Nurse! Nurse! My son kept saying that his hand is very painful leh!"]

I walked over. Meanwhile, the mother walked away to the toilet. I asked to the boy calmly. “你那里痛?跟姐姐講。” ["Where do you feel pain? Please tell me."]

The boy looked at me calmly and then continued to watch his TV. No sign or complaint of pain whatsoever!

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