When a child needs to stay in hospital, a nanny will stay with them the whole time. The only exception is if the child needs to be in the ICU, in which case no-one is allowed to be with them. As soon as they are released from the ICU into the regular ward, a nanny will go straight to the hospital ready to care for them.
The medical care that the children receive in the hospitals in Beijing is excellent, but the conditions for those staying with the children are not easy. The child will be in a shared room, and the adults don't have their own beds.
But who better to tell you about the experience of staying in hospital with a child than the nannies themselves?
Talking about what it is it like to stay in hospital with one of the children-
"We must take great responsibility, have patience, be careful and listen to the doctors".
"At the same time as taking care of a child, we must listen to the doctor, and do tasks such as take temperatures, record input and output, give medicine and watch the IV and/or nebulizer, observe the monitor, observe the child’s life signs, observe how the whole body looks… We have to report how the kid’s doing to the doctor and nurses, and take them to do a lot of check-ups."
"We must observe the kid's situation all the time, so that we can report to the doctors if anything happens."
Talking about the longest stretches of time that they've stayed in the hospital, answers ranged from 15 days to one month.
"The longest time was one month, the whole time I didn't walk out of the room, I didn't even know the season was changing".
"The longest time was about 20 days. I missed home a lot. My child went to school in the city and visited me sometimes, bringing some fruit. My husband called me to ask when the child would get well and be released from the hospital. He hoped that I would come home soon".
Talking about what was the most difficult part, there was general agreement that it was the first days after surgery.
"The first three days after surgery there will be a lot of equipment tubes on the child so you must take care of them really well. I’m really busy, I have almost no sleep and don’t drink much water." (to avoid needing to leave the child in order to go to the restroom)
"The most difficult part is right after surgery, there are so many tubes on the child, you are afraid they might come off and put the child in danger. Also, when the kid has a fever."
"Because the child's life is in danger, we worry about every single detail, which makes us anxious. I wish I could take on half his suffering".
"Taking care of the child who has a very serious disease because he might be in danger for his life at any time. We worry about that, we are afraid of something happening. Anxious, almost no sleep day and night."
Talking about how they felt when they were asked to go into hospital, the answers revealed the huge hearts of the these amazing ladies in unique ways-
"I feel that I am accepting a very important task. I will have to complete a new responsibility, it will be very busy, very hard, and I will not get enough sleep."
"I feel that it is a difficult task, one that needs to be prepared for well. Not only materially, but also spiritually, which is even more important. We are going to accompany them going through their suffering."
"I feel happy that the foster home leader trusts me so much! I would love to do my best to serve the kids."
"I don’t think much about it, so every time, if I can, I will go."
It's good to take the time to honor the sacrifices that these women make for the children in their care. For them, being a nanny at New Day Foster Home is their job, but they go so far beyond the demands that most jobs make, and they do it willingly.
Staying in hospital during serious illness and after painful surgery is such a traumatic time for a child. Having the care of a devoted mama is a huge need, and we are so glad that our kids get that from their nanny. During Iris's recent hospital stay, hospital staff commented on the incredible level of care that Iris was getting compared to other children in similar situations. We are so proud of these heroines.
To finish, a quote that perhaps best sums up the whole hospital experience for the nannies-
"If you are dissatisfied with your life, volunteer to go to the hospital, and when you come back you will feel so happy to be at home!"