How do you want me to remember you?

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    My memories of the night I died and the nurses that helped bring me back to life! This true story is a time in my life that I remember as if it were yesterday. I was hit by a car and thrown 200 feet and found wrapped around a pole. My story is about my experiences in the hospital(s) I stayed in while recovering from a near death experience. The things I remember as if it were yesterday. *I want to thank the many nurses who brought me back to life. I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU, you are my heroes!

    How do you want me to remember you?

    Hi members of allnurses my name is Julia and the story I am about to tell you is true.

    Over 30 years ago I was hit by a car and pronounced dead shortly afterwards at a hospital I was taken to by an ambulance. The miracle is that I came back to life a few minutes later. I was given a second chance at life, but the road was a tough one for me. The memories I have of the following months I was in traction has to do with the men and women who provided nursing care to me.

    My first memory was a female nurse who came over to me as soon as I opened my eyes in intensive care and she looked like an Angel. Her delicate hands started taking the sticks and dirt from my hair and told me "let's make you look pretty again and we will start by washing your hair." These few words made me feel human again. My mind and body were in shock, I was hooked up to machines, tubes, you name it I was hooked up to it.

    She proceeded to delicately clean me from head to toe. I was so afraid, I did not realize the extent of my injuries BUT, I WILL NEVER FORGET the nurse's compassion in seeing how scared I was. Then there was a nurse who refused to clean my private area a day later because I had gotten my period? She turned to another nurse and said "I'M NOT GOING TO DO THAT!" and walked away from me. Please let me remind you I was in traction and was immobile. I was NOT comfortable letting anyone clean me but had no choice. I bled all over myself until my cousin came and helped with that. I was transferred to a hospital closer to my home and those nurses were pretty much the same. Some I will NEVER FORGET while others I was glad to.

    I'm only human and want to be treated as such. Remember that people are scared to be in hospitals and what you do and how you treat them will remain with them for the rest of their life! My most memorable experience was when a nurse stayed overnight with me because I started to have flash backs and was terrified because I did not know what was happening to me. This woman clocked out and stayed with me overnight making sure I slept and each time I awoke in panic she was there to immediately calm me down. The compassion inside you saves lives. Always remember why you chose this field and never lose sight of it. Once you just think of it as a nine to five job the patient feels it. The patient could be you, your child, your mother, your father, your brother or sister~ just because you might have heard it all before, or have seen it all before does not make it less dramatic for the patient who is experiencing it for the first time. I'm NOT saying to spend the night with patients, or go above and beyond, but MAKE SURE THAT YOUR PATIENT WON'T EVER FORGET YOU. Kindness and compassion goes a long way for patients young and old.

    Trust me your schooling will teach you everything you need to learn to become an excellent nurse BUT what lies in your heart will make the difference for a patient and YOU WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED FONDLY. Maintain your quest in healthcare education and retain your knowledge in human relations. Excellence and heart breads heroes in the minds of all people. When dealing with difficult patients, refer to what you have been taught in school, learn through your experience, but never look at any two patients as if they are the same because they are not and never will be. An important fact I would like to say is, when you walk out of a patients room DO NOT TALK ABOUT THEM to anyone unless you are in a private room. Voices carry and your conduct is very unprofessional! Being a patient in the hospital for 3 months allowed for me to see it all (at least in the orthopedic ward that is.)

    Thank you for reading this~it was my pleasure to have shared a time in my life that I WILL NEVER FORGET.

    Julia L.
    Last edit by Joe V on Feb 22, '14
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    About JulieRomanoLee

    Mother of 3 and have a passion for the healthcare field.

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  3. by   Esme12
    Thank you for sharing your story. I think it is important to remind nurses sometimes that there is someone underneath all those wires and meds. That the patients hear far more than what we think they do....and we need to remember that at all times.

    When I was a little girl I was scalded by a hot coffee pot. I still have vivid memories of that day, the drive to the hospital.... How my skin stuck to my bath robe when they took it off me....of them asking me over and over again if my Mommy or Daddy did this. I remember when I was traveling down a tunnel and I couldn't speak, I was shaking all over....I know now I was going into shock.... they made my parents leave and the terror I felt at their leaving....and the nurse who looked at me with her pretty blue eyes and told me it was ok they would be back....I was 4 years old. I've never forgotten her face, her voice or how she smelled.

    Being a patient has made me a better nurse.
  4. by   nursefrances
    Love this story. Thank you for sharing.

    My "unforgettable" nurse was my OB nurse when I was delivering my second child 13 years ago. I wasn't a nurse/not in school yet. I was planning to have a C-section so I didn't take birthing classes. My husband and I had finally decided to try a V-BAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) about 6 hours before my water broke in the middle of the night. I was 3 weeks early. It was actually kind of funny. We had thrown around the idea for a week. After church on a Wednesday night we decided that if I made it to my scheduled due date I would go with the C-section. If I was early I would try a natural delivery. And my water broke 6 hours later. I guess I received the answer of what to do.

    Anyhoo, back to my super nurse. While I was going through the stages of labor I didn't know what to do. The nurse was awesome. Of course I was almost ready to go into labor at the end of her shift. I delivered at 0830 in the morning and she stayed with me after her shift was over. I would have freaked out if she wasn't there to keep me calm through each stage. She was awesome and I will never forget her.
  5. by   amygarside
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful story, Julia. I'm so glad you have had good nurses in your side. It's just that, we can't really have what we always wanted. There are always buts' and ifs'.
  6. by   JulieRomanoLee
    Hi Amy, I'm happy you enjoyed my experience. I realize you can't always get what you want (hmmm familiar words right? aren't they from a song?? anyway, if nurses read how their actions affect patients good and bad--my story will hopefully allow nurses to realize how truly important their presence and hard work means to all patients. I can't explain the severity and how my body and mind reacted to this shocking experience but I can tell you nurses play a large role in the healing process. I'm a tough cookie and have come a long way. My expertise lies in human relations and customer care and the bottom line is; if a nurse shows compassion and can feel empathy while providing expert care than that is all anyone in need requires.
  7. by   guyna
    I read your story and I felt compassion for you. It was unfortunate that some nurses are the way they are. However I am glad you had some positive memory during your hospital stay. some nurses do have soft skills( work ethic, dependability, compassion, interpersonal skills, just to name a few) also there is a majority who do not. Thank God you are alive to tell this personal story.
  8. by   hardygirl
    I have had a similar experience as a patient. Two years ago, about four days after delivering my second child I began feeling out of sorts and could hardly get out of bed. I was unable to care for my newborn child. I scheduled an appointment at my OB/GYN office because I feared that I had complications from childbirth several days prior. The physician who seen me asked me about my symptoms which were N&V, abdominal pain,and generalized weakness. He could not do an internal exam for obvious reasons, and assumed that I had an infection. I was sent home with a prescription for antibiotics. I returned home hoping that the antibiotics would "fix" how I feel. Two days later I was still feeling unwell and was still hardly able to get out of bed. I got up out of bed to see my newborn baby who my fiance was caring for in the living room. As I walk back to the bedroom to go back to bed, I had a strange feeling come over me, like my heart wasn't beating right. I called my fiance's name because I felt as if I was fainting. Three days later I woke up from an induced coma. My first memory is a nurse who informed me that I had cardiac arrest and told me that I had an artery which was completely clogged. She had no compassion in her voice and was annoyed that she had to clean me and annoyed that I kept asking her questions over and over again ( I was very confused and disoriented). At the time I thought I was in the hospital from delivering my child. Later on I spoke with a young doctor who was very kind and was able to answer my questions. The nurse was incorrect in telling me what my diagnosis was that landed me in the hospital. I suffered from peripartum cardiomyopathy which is pregnancy induced heart failure which can occur during last few months of pregnancy to first few months after delivery. I will never forget that nurse, her image is etched in my memory. She had poor bedside manner and caused me to become upset.She provided misinformation which caused added stress. As a nurse, I never want a patient to feel that way as I did at that time. I feel this experience has made me a better nurse, a more compassionate nurse.I did however have a team of other nurses and doctors who provided stellar care and who motivated me. I made a miraculous recovery and was back home in one week.I will never forget them. I will also never forget that one nurse.