the laying on of hands is truly a lost art form. tonight, i was asked by one of the floor nurses to come evaluate a baby who was quite agitated and setting off her alarms. this baby has quite a complex past medical history and has plenty of scary reasons why she could be setting off alarms. so, with respectful trepidation, i walked in to her room (after washing my hands, of course...hey, we've got a pertussis outbreak here).
she was lying in the crib, exposed, mottled, crying. her sat was 78, she was breathing 60-70 times per minute. i listened to her chest, a cacophony of sound that is a testament to her cardiothoracic surgeon in Boston. no crackles, though. no heart failure. no pneumonia to explain why she is needing more oxygen. she's still crying. i look around for her mother, who is usually, tirelessly, present. however, she is not. she is hopefully home getting some much-needed rest.
i decide to stand-in, imperfect as i may be.
i rub her back, make soothing sounds. shhh. you're ok. shhh. i covered her cold little feet with a blanket.
i look at the monitors, still blinking red alarms, but numbers that are moving in the right direction. respiratory rate down, oxygen saturation up. crying stops. she sleeps again.
the laying on of hands. it may just be coincidence, but i'm going to delude myself and believe that it worked.