Ok, I need advice. I burned approx 80% of my body, mostly 3rd degree, full thickness, when I was a child. So I very much grew up in hospitals with grafting, etc. You guys know the drill!
Recently I accepted an ICU position that will be including fresh burn patients. I desperately want to do something positive for these people, but at the same time, I'm also wondering if it could possibly hit a nerve and freak me out. Does anyone have any opinions on this? I really want to feel like I am helping someone, somehow.
Nov 17, '04
I know a nurse manager of a burn unit who herself suffered burns over a great percentage of her body when she was 7 years old. She lives with dramatic scaring of her face, neck, arms, hands, and legs among other non-visible places. She was a bedside burn nurse for many many years before being offered the management position. She said she knew that even as a child she wanted to become a nurse who worked with burn patients because of the nurses who took care of her.
She's absolutely incredible and one of the reasons I became a nurse myself.
I also have a good friend who is a Vietnam veteran who was a medic in the war and a victim of Naplam. He returned to the states in 1971 after his injury and was offered a medical education to become an MD by Nixon in 1972. He declined that offer and took a job at the same hospital that the nurse I spoke of above works. He has been working as a burn tech there ever since. You cannot see his scars, they are covered up by his scrubs
, but the emotional scars will always be there. This is a man who befriends and cares deeply about his patients even as he administers what one would think to be cruel, cruel treatments. In fact, that's why he cares so deeply...he knows what those treatments are like.
Because burn injuries are so psychologically devastating, I personally think that having someone who can relate so intimately to thier patient's, and for the patients to see that life can and does go on after these unimaginable types of injuries is a good thing. I would think that you would be in a very supportive enviornment, saskrn, if something did come up for you personally.
I think it takes very special people to work a burn unit.
Good luck to you.
Last edit by begalli on Nov 17, '04