My daughter fell off the monkey bars at school today and landed on her wrist. Point tenderness. Check. Unable to turn her wrist. Check. So we headed over to our local pediatric emergency room and sure enough she has a fracture of her wrist.
Today was not an easy day. Our daughter is deathly afraid of doctors and needles and hospitals (the irony, I know) and we had an awful experience at her 5 year well child check last week. So I thought today was going to be a re-run. Only amplified. By 1000.
But somehow, some way, she never shed a tear. She was awesome. And that was largely due to EVERYONE who works in the Cornell Pediatric ER – doctors, nurses, child life staff, everyone. While optimal medical care is obviously in the fore of every parent’s mind when a child needs medical attention, it makes a huge difference when medical practitioners give something a little extra that increases comfort, decreases fear, and normalizes a very not-normal experience. Because being in a hospital, an ER, or even a blood draw room at the doctor’s office is SCARYand not-normal at all for our kids. Which is something I — as a pediatrician – too often forget.
So thank you Cornell Peds Emergency Room for the stickers, for the cool pink cast, and most of all for making a potentially awful experience (almost) fun. And thank you for reminding me that pediatrics is about way more than following evidence-based guidelines and providing up-to—date care. It’s also about the stickers, the smiling faces and maybe even the fun.