Trust inside the walls of a hospital. #twinslife #nicu
Trust…it is an amazing!
Trust allows someone to have, use, or look after (someone or something of importance or value) with confidence.
There are so many ways to look at the word trust. Many in the financial and business world look at the word either through a relational perspective or a contractual perspective.
A trust is a fiduciary relationship in which one party, known as a trustor, gives another party, the trustee, the right to hold title to property or assets for the benefit of a third party, the beneficiary.
As I walk the through the halls of Greenville Health System’s sixth floor, I find myself investing in this trust, this relationship, this binding contractual agreement, this hospital to take care of the one thing I hold most dear to my heart…my family.
When I walked into the delivery room on June 10, 2017 at 7:15am, I was overwhelmed by the multitude of professionals ready to spring into action, ready to bear their most coveted training when bringing George in Henry into this world. Sarah lying on the bed with a sheet separating her from the procedure to deliver. As I stood in the doorway, I had for that very moment the need to subdue my emotions, draw from my years of hospital experience, look for those iconic cues I knew would bring me comfort.
Calmness of the clinicians
Surgical gowns and safety gloves
Surgical safety checklist hanging on the wall (Thank You Atul Gawande)
Sarah’s warm smile
I found myself sitting down, trusting the team of 25 plus people in the room were there with purpose, with grace, with empathy, with skill, and with determination…to make sure everything went smoothly.
What allows us to trust those in the room? Is it the mere fact they allow the husband to take part of the experience, a sign of transparency? Is it the physician from the NICU who calmly explains what is happening step-by-step as both your boys are being born. Is it the nurse standing next to Sarah telling me when to peak over the sheet to watch and have my camera ready to capture the moment each boy is born. Is it the excitement when you hear excitement when each boy cries for the first time or when they bring each of them to the bedside for Sarah to see?
I have wondered about how we build relational trust?
Each day a different nurse starts their shift to take care of the boys in the NICU. There are days when we meet the nurse for the first time and other days when the boys have been assigned the same nurse from a previous day.
I grew up as a son to a nurse, and educated nurse who put herself through school twice for both her BSN and MSN. I lived the training, education, countless hours, the crazy shifts, the struggles with politics inside healthcare…I have watched my mom start her career at GHS and then retire. Nurses are the heartbeat of the hospital. We trust them because they are exactly that…nurses.
But sometimes it is hard to trust…when you leave your children in the hospital day in and day out, for numerous days. We are built to think we are the ones that know what is best for our children. We have to learn to trust others’ with our loved ones, hoping that they are taking in the best interest of our children, our families…their patients seriously.
Sometimes we wonder if the nurses trust us. Trust goes both ways, it is mutual agreement, a dance, and sometimes and entanglement. We wonder if we are being judged for our knowledge of how to care for our own children, children who are preemies.
Are we holding them the correct way? Are we getting them in and out of the isolettes the right way? Are we touching them too much, too little. Are we spending enough time in the NICU? Is Sarah breast feeding enough, pumping enough, providing enough milk? Am I fitting the right role as a father, making a choice between getting back to work or taking more time off to spend in the NICU? Maybe I am worried about worrying and there is no need to worry…if they…the nurses, the doctors, the hospital walls….trust us.
I never knew of so many emotions, worries, politics, entanglements associated with having not just one preemie in the NICU, but have twin preemies in the NICU. Trust is a powerful word…one that I am having to truly learn and understand.
I know in my heart that it was the numerous individuals, clinicians, and staff on the sixth floor of GHS that brought our two boys into this world healthy. I know they are providing the best possible care so they can come home healthy, vibrant, and growing young men. I completely trust them in their expertise. But…do they trust me? Or do I have the confidence in my abilities?
It is my hope that as we get closer and closer to that day when George and Henry come home, I will replace the word trust with the word confidence. Confidence that this entanglement was a magical dance teaching Sarah and myself we must trust others to help us reach our goals.