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A Mom’s Conflict with a Nurse Practitioner

Teresa M. Nichols

Journal Assignment 01

August 28, 2010

A Mom’s Conflict with a Nurse Practitioner

It was a warm and sunny summer day when we received information regarding after school sports for the quickly arriving new school year. My energetic eleven year old daughter declared she wanted to play volleyball. We looked over the papers and I saw that she was required to have a physical and that this had to happen quickly to meet the deadline before she could sign up to play. I called the doctor’s office and told them what was needed, why and by when. I was informed the doctor was booked, but we could see the nurse practitioner and the appointment was set.

We arrived on time for the appointment, my daughter was growing more excited of the fact that she would play a sport she enjoyed, but a bit uneasy with the getting a physical part of the process. I assured her it was just a routine physical and everything would be fine, because she was as healthy as a horse.

The physical was going well and almost done when suddenly the nurse practitioner informed us that my daughter needed an immunization booster and that there were two others immunizations that were strongly recommend. I asked what they were, so she happily told what and how beneficial they would be for my daughter’s future well-being. I knew very little of the new vaccines and quickly said no thank you, just give her the booster.

My daughters face began to change and I could tell she was getting a bit nervous, I could feel the tension rising in the room. You would have thought I had slapped this woman’s face! She quickly changed from a kind, soft spoken, caring nurse to what reminded me of my sixth grade teacher. She took on this stern grimace her face and moved the clipboard she had in one hand to her chest, pressing it against her like she was getting ready for battle. I have to say this quick change was quite disturbing in itself. Then she went on to try and press upon me, I could feel the weight, the importance of this new Gardasil vaccine. She was doing her best to try and make me feel like a terrible uncaring parent if I did not agree with her, and for a short moment I began to question myself about just that.

Then just as quickly I remembered who I was, a loving, caring mother and my job was to look out for my daughter’s best interest and well-being no matter what this woman thought of me. I again said no just give her the required booster, and she reluctantly agreed.

It was not long after this incident that reports on the Gardasil vaccine began to be a big topic of discussion. There were TV ads, flyers from the school and notices from the health insurance, all trying to sell the necessity to the public for this new vaccine for young girls. The next spring the reports of negative reactions and adverse effects begin to flood in popping up everywhere online and in the news. This was not a safe or even 100% effective vaccine was the new findings.

There are several strains of the virus and this vaccine only targets one of them leaving people under the false impression that they are immune to the virus. Many have reported fainting as a reaction to this vaccine, some of fainting immediately and others while driving home. Many have reported severe long term health problems, some now in wheelchairs for life.

I am convinced I made the right decision for my daughter’s well-being the day I stood up and said “NO”. I believe in making informed decisions rather than being bullied into a corner.

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