Guest Post: Top Three ER Nursing Pet Peeves

As promised, my friend Jordyn Redwood, ER nurse and writer extraordinaire is going to be posting common medical Q & A’s on my blog twice every month. I’m superexcited about this and think it will not only be a ton of fun but it will also be really informative. So, a huge thank you to Jordyn! And, if you want to know more about her, Jordyn is not only a novelist with a book coming out from Kregel in a few months, but she’s also a blogger who writes a superfun blog called “Redwood’s Medical Edge” where she discusses now novelists approach medical issues in their books. Check it out here.

Top Three ER Nursing Pet Peeves

Here’s a look into the mind of the pediatric ER nurse. Don’t we all have pet peeves when it comes to our jobs? Of course… the ER nurse is no different. Often times, these are not mentioned in “public” as we don’t want to offend families. But, in honesty, there are some things parents do that drive us crazy. Here are a few at the top of my list.

1.  Calling medicine candy. This is a big no-no for us pediatric nurses. We really don’t want kids to associate taking medicine with the fun of having candy. Candy is good. Candy is fun. Candy is generally not lethal if you eat too much. Medicine is far different from that. So say something like, “This tastes sweet.” Or “This tastes like orange.”— but don’t associate medicine with candy in the same sentence.

2.  Children not wearing helmets. I’m amazed at how many families come to the ER over concern for head injury after a fall off of (insert something with wheels here) and their child wasn’t wearing a helmet. First question: Do they have one? Often times the response is, “Yes, I just can’t get him to wear it.”

First off, as a parent, set the example. Are you wearing your helmet when you ride your bike? Second, from the moment your child is on anything with wheels, they need a helmet. Yes, even when they’re on their tricycle. This will institute a habit and an expectation—just like wearing a seatbelt.

Secondly, be firm. If they don’t wear their helmet, they lose their wheels. Parent, “I can’t keep him off his bike.” Well, then the wheels come off the bike. The skateboard is locked in the trunk of your car. Be firm.

It only takes one bad head injury for devastating effects. Don’t risk it.

3.  Smoking. Secondary smoke is a big health risk for kids. If you smoke, you need to stop. Smoking outside, unfortunately, doesn’t help. Yes, even if you have a “smoking jacket”. If I can smell smoke, the particles are on you and can even be enough to trigger an asthma attack in kids. If you are a smoker, talk to your pediatrician about resources your state might have to help you quit. Smoking during pregnancy has been linked to the development of congenital heart defects in infants along with a host of other problems.

Now, you tell me, what are some other pet peeves you think a pediatric ER nurse may have? Are you offended by reading these?

Jordyn Redwood has served the pediatric population and their families for many years. She has five years of experience in the pediatric ICU and ten years of pediatric ER nursing which is the area she currently works. Jordyn also teaches CPR and advanced resuscitation courses.

Jordyn is also a suspense author. Her novel, Lilly’s Ashes, will be published by Kregel in the Spring of 2012. She also hosts a medical blog for authors which you can find at

Disclaimer: Remember, these posts are for education and discussion. If your child is sick and you think they require medical attention, take them to their pediatrician or local emergency department.


  1. not offended at all- this is fascinating! Thanks for the post. I don’t understand parents or kids who don’t wear helmets (the worst is motorcyclists not wearing them, which is legal in my state– it makes me so sad).

    • I’m glad you found it interesting! Thanks for your comment. And thanks, Erin, for hosting me today.

  2. Great post! I agree about the helmets–if they start early it’s likely to never be an issue (until they see their friends not wearing them maybe!).

    • Exactly. Starting early is key! Thanks for your comment, Michelle.

  3. My daughter asks why other kids don’t wear helmets… she knows it’s safe, it’s the rules and is so confused when other kids don’t want to “be safe”. It does provide good conversation and reinforces our rules.
    I enjoy reading your blog, Jordyn! You are a wealth of knowledge and I’m thankful you share so we can benefit from that knowledge!!
    I am also looking forward to reading the Christian Mama’s Guide blog now… thanks for introducing me to it:)!

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