Saturday, 17 November 2012

That Bloody Hodges Woman

This is inspired by something that happened one morning in the Neonatal Unit. There were three junior doctors all sitting in the nurses station, two with their backs to the door, one facing the door. I had arrived earlier than usual, and bypassed the station to go to the milk fridge. I was sorting the milk when I heard this conversation.

Fierce? Who me?

"Oh, she'll be here soon", Dr A says, looking at the clock.

Dr B looks at him "no she's on a day off today, sister won't be back until tomorrow, relax man". Turning to a game on the computer.

"No no, not her she's a pussy cat compared to that bloody Hodges woman, she'll be here any minute, just in time for my rounds".

Dr C raises his eyebrows "Kylie? She's lovely. You just don't know how to speak to her. She just cares about her son  She is his mother and his advocate, its her job, nothing personal, I get on fine with her".

I pause around the corner, wanting the ground to swallow me up. I daren't move any further lest I am rumbled. I can't leave the unit, as I am expected for kangaroo care. I am frozen to the spot.

Dr A sighs as he continues "I don't know what her background is, but she leaves me for dead. She asks questions that are well thought out, like a university professor. She knows the medications, the numbers, she makes me feel stupid. I feel like I am always under scrutiny, she scares me".

I start to move, I can't really hide behind the pillar forever, though I want to. 

The other doctors smile. Dr A straightens up. "that bloody Hodges woman...." he pauses, "Is standing right behind me isn't she".

I smile tap him on the shoulder and say "Yes its me that bloody Hodges woman, and don't you forget it!", with a big grin.

That was a turning point. From that moment I felt everyone start to relax and treat me more as an equal that someone to be patronised. Parents are an integral part of the team, which everyone needs to understand and respect.

And we can be fierce, we can be scary, we can be overprotective. However, with empathy and understanding, we can work together.

Because we all want the same thing, a healthy happy baby. 


  1. WOWsers he must have been SO embarrassed - well at least he was praising you as formidable, intelligent and a force to be reckoned with - go you!!! xx

  2. Wow, I like this. I can relate to what you mentioned in this post. the doctors need to see parents as an integral member of the team because our opinions also count. my hubby and i have also been asked several times if our background was in the medical field. Though, we both have science research backgrounds, we are simply motivated to learn everything related to the care of our babies.

  3. What a nice story, and the comedic timing is superb. You missed your calling.