Beware the Medical Baby Talk

April 12, 2013 by Rieshy

My 7 yo goes into a sort of zen state whenever he has to be in the hospital or E.R.  His eyes get bigger, he slows down, he shows almost no emotion, and considers every question carefully before answering.  I'm pretty sure it is because he is very suspicious of medical personnel.  That time he had the urinary catheter surprise when he was 2 has not been forgotten.  The happier and more energetic the staff the more suspicious my son.

A few years ago an overly bubbly nurse popped up by his bedside and started peppering him with questions in a babyish voice as she took his vitals.  I could see him go into his zen slow-down mode, times 10.  Her smile got bigger in response to his lack of response and her high pitched baby talk lisp even more pronounced.  I ended up talking for him- something I try never to do unless he is unconscious.

When she left the room he looked up at me with an extremely concerned face and said, "Mom, I think something is really wrong with that lady."

Last night we were at the E.R. and the nurse started explaining to my son that he was going to have to, "put a huggy thing around his arm and then give him a straw- that wouldn't hurt at all, except maybe a quick pinch and then they were going to get a tiny bit of... well they were going to run some tests, and he needed to be really calm."  Then the nurse was called out of the room.

My son turned to me and asked, "Was he trying to say that they are going to do an I.V. draw?"

Medical personnel: beware the baby talk, it induces lethargy and lack of confidence in some children.



Brandee Shafer said...

Wow. What a great point. Some of these kids have been through so much; they know the deal; just give it to 'em straight. What a wonderful, brave, truth-telling mama you are.

Unknown said...

You are such a great advocate for him. My son would be the same way. He likes to KNOW things.

Unknown said...

Moira Rose has no patients for the babytalk or the nice child life people unless they are bring crafts to do. Before one procedure the nice lady from child life was explaining with a little picture book what was going to happen. Moira Rose told her she was watching Tom and Jerry go away.

CristyLynn said...

I so agree! And it seems like the more babyish the louder they are, too! Isaiah just looks at them funny, and looks at me to explain. We do use some easier terms for him because he doesn't always understand, but he doesn't like that tone, and I definitely don't!

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