A little grinch inside me came out!

  1. So here I was running my tailfeathers off the other night! One, I was part of the code team, and had to run to the ER to assist with a code...code save . Then a nurse who has never done an NG tube needed someone to do it...I was the only one that night...so I did it...great placement, but patient was gagging so much that I had to remove it..it was all blood and air...off to the ICU for her...her stomach was filled with blood! (unknown GI problem just off the ER floor to our floor). Then we had a patient die who was about to go home on hospice...and it was my nursing friends first death...so I had to console her and help (gladly!).

    Then I get a fresh admit after all of this and 4 patients of my own that had been neglected from all the other happenings....a suicidal ideation!

    I took a break to wipe the slate clean from all this other stuff and focus on my pts and the new one..and I couldn't stop thinking "here I am saving folks...running my arse off doing it...and then we get someone that doesn't even WANT to live! Why should I waste my time tending to those that don't want to live when I have so much to do for the people struggling TO live!!!!!!!".

    I was so mad at myself for even thinking that! It really disturbed me...but for some reason a little grinch in the back of my head was saying this...UHGGGGG! And I went home to ponder it...

    I know they need my help too...guess I was just burnt out with all the excitement and watching someone slowly pass away and seeing a nurse cry. But sheesh...I am a very proactive sweet funny nurse..that very thought distrubed me (guess that is a good thing..If I didn't get disturbed..then I would be in trouble).

    Anyone else think that some days? Why are we doing things for some patients that either don't want to live, or whos quality of life will be decreased something fierce for making them live???? (sometimes I feel we do too much on some people somedays).

    Anyway...I am good to go now, and found out that the patient had just had a change in psych meds and really wasn't so suicidal as having withdrawls from her old meds (which were not tapered) and was scared...and lucky for me..that grinch may have been talking, but I always feel there is a rational story behind everything..the trick is to be open and find it out . BTW..she adored me and felt better talking with me about things (I had to be her one on one for two hours...so it all turned out wonderfully!!!!).
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   CHATSDALE
    even with genuine suicide attempts, good care can give them the opportunity to rethink and live out a life with the knowledge that what ever was so horrid before is not really worth their life
    i think that you did a good job, your co-worker was lucky to have you there and not some knowitall to laugh at her
  4. by   SaderNurse05
    Silly TriageRN34. You are human! Seriously I think if people can be honest we have all had feelings that later made us think. The important thing is even though you were running ragged you took good care of the patient. This is what makes you a good nurse.
  5. by   luvlilbit119
    Quote from TriageRN_34
    So here I was running my tailfeathers off the other night! One, I was part of the code team, and had to run to the ER to assist with a code...code save . Then a nurse who has never done an NG tube needed someone to do it...I was the only one that night...so I did it...great placement, but patient was gagging so much that I had to remove it..it was all blood and air...off to the ICU for her...her stomach was filled with blood! (unknown GI problem just off the ER floor to our floor). Then we had a patient die who was about to go home on hospice...and it was my nursing friends first death...so I had to console her and help (gladly!).

    Then I get a fresh admit after all of this and 4 patients of my own that had been neglected from all the other happenings....a suicidal ideation!

    I took a break to wipe the slate clean from all this other stuff and focus on my pts and the new one..and I couldn't stop thinking "here I am saving folks...running my arse off doing it...and then we get someone that doesn't even WANT to live! Why should I waste my time tending to those that don't want to live when I have so much to do for the people struggling TO live!!!!!!!".

    I was so mad at myself for even thinking that! It really disturbed me...but for some reason a little grinch in the back of my head was saying this...UHGGGGG! And I went home to ponder it...

    I know they need my help too...guess I was just burnt out with all the excitement and watching someone slowly pass away and seeing a nurse cry. But sheesh...I am a very proactive sweet funny nurse..that very thought distrubed me (guess that is a good thing..If I didn't get disturbed..then I would be in trouble).

    Anyone else think that some days? Why are we doing things for some patients that either don't want to live, or whos quality of life will be decreased something fierce for making them live???? (sometimes I feel we do too much on some people somedays).

    Anyway...I am good to go now, and found out that the patient had just had a change in psych meds and really wasn't so suicidal as having withdrawls from her old meds (which were not tapered) and was scared...and lucky for me..that grinch may have been talking, but I always feel there is a rational story behind everything..the trick is to be open and find it out . BTW..she adored me and felt better talking with me about things (I had to be her one on one for two hours...so it all turned out wonderfully!!!!).

    Don't worry, that thought was out of fustration. It's okay to get frazzled like that, with so much on your plate. The key thing was that you realized that your thought wasn't genuine. By the way, you are an amazing person... keep it up.
  6. by   fiveofpeep
    Hey TriageRN. Just wanted to know I love reading your posts. This time I finally have a response.

    My mom is an er nurse and she got a suicidal patient the other day. While my mom was in with the girl they started talking and both of them ended up in tears because my mom really felt for her.

    However, the other nurses were gossiping about the patient and how stupid she was, etc. My mom promises that moment she acts like that she will quit nursing.

    I am a cheerful, bubbly person similar to what you describe of yourself, but I am just as prone to cynical thoughts when at work. I am not a nurse yet but I think every one can have their grumpy days. The fact that you noticed your thoughts shows that you really do care.
  7. by   dream'n
    We all have those moments, remember it's the actions that count. We are only human, don't be so hard on yourself. Everyone at one time or another has had a patient that kind of gets under their skin a little, or bothers them somewhat. Again what matters is that we put a smile on our face and give the best care around to that patient, not the private, crabby thoughts that we sometimes have. Besides, no one can know what personal horrors that the suicidal patient has had. Honestly, they are the patients I feel for the most. Just take a deep breath and try to feel blessed that your life hasn't been so dark or painful that you would want to die.
    You are a FABULOUS nurse! Just think of all the craziness you were dealing with that shift. Only a caring, loving person would take the time to ponder their thoughts. If you really didn't give a d***, the thought never would have bothered you.
    Last edit by dream'n on Nov 28, '06
  8. by   clemmm78
    My brother committed suicide almost two years ago, he was 35 years old.

    I have to say that the whole thing changed my attitude and views towards patients who were suicidal. At one time, I thought as you did, they don't want to live, I have patients who do. But, I realize now, that is not the case.

    I think that in most cases, those who try to kill themselves, or succeed, don't want to die, they just don't know how to live any more. Whatever pain is driving them does not allow them to see the reason of living and, in their minds, the only way to stop the pain, is by not being able to feel it any more.

    Wearing my amateur psychology hat, I feel that is why many also drink heavily or take drugs. As long as they can numb the pain that way, they're managing. But, eventually, the pain requires more, and they only see death as the way out.

    A few times over the years, I had contemplated it myself. I come from a very abusive background and have spent years struggling with depression and anxiety. But, when I wished for death - again, it wasn't to stop living, it was to stop hurting. Thankfully, with good care and a lot of hard work, that wish no longer haunts me.

    Interestingly, a social worker friend of mine pointed out that most people who do commit suicide think of it and set it up several times before they actually do it. In other words, it's highly doubtful that JP (my brother) just tried this one time. She said that most of the time, they have plans and are serious about them, but they are interrupted by something, like a phone call, or an unexpected event that delays their actions. Oddly enough, that helped me feel a bit better about things.

    Sorry if I hijacked the thread - I just wanted to present the other side.
  9. by   leslie :-D
    i caught myself watching this late-noc show called "intervention".
    first time i had seen it.
    it focused on a gambling addict and a shopping addict.

    the gambling addict was high strung, rude, spoiled and obnoxious.
    i think he had a hx of 4 suicide attempts- all because his parents wouldn't bail him out when he had a huge and hovering debt.

    i caught myself thinking "aw, just go do it".
    and then by the end of the show, time had passed, and while he was still gambling despite tx, he had softened considerably, and displayed shame and empathy for what he put his parents to.

    i felt like crap, for wishing such a horrible thought.

    i quickly said "oops" to God then followed w/"i bet you wish you hadn't made me such a handful.".
    we had a chuckle together.

    point being, we are human and so, fallible.
    you would probably pee your pants if you knew what i and other hospice nurses had talked about, once in a blue moon.
    but it happens.
    i don't care who you are.

    btw triage, i LOVE the grinch.
    so i raise my glass to you and proudly sing..."you're a mean one, mr. grinch":Melody:

    leslie

    add: where are our Christmas smilies????
  10. by   BrnEyedGirl
    OMG!!! I can't believe you would ever think such a thing!!! I love taking care of my "drunk, Xanax/Vicodin/methamphetamine OD, 34th visit in 93 days, "I can't go on living" because boyfriend #18 has dumped me for the 5th time this month after breaking my nose and sleeping w/my sister"!!! Never once occured to me that she didn't deserve as much care and attention as the 45yr old acute MI in the next room

    Might super nurse be a bit human? Hang in there,..it'll get better ,.it always does..anyone ever notice how we are much harder on ourselves than others are?
  11. by   nightbychoice
    Ahhhhh Triage.....you and I are a kindred spirit!!

    Alas that whole being HUMAN thing puts a monkey wrench in the whole super Mom/Nurse ideation!!

    Every nurse if they have been one long enough has had similiar thoughts....mine usually occur with the frequent flyers of ALL types. It is very hard to take care of a young CA patient in one room fighting for their life and then go into the flyer room and be sympathetic.Note I said hard but not impossible.

    I really appreciate the alternative views posted by everyone else......
    "things that make you go hmmmmmmmm".

    Thanks again Triage for the smile and the laugh!!
    Jennifer
  12. by   UKRNinUSA
    Quote from TriageRN_34
    I couldn't stop thinking "here I am saving folks...running my arse off doing it...and then we get someone that doesn't even WANT to live! Why should I waste my time tending to those that don't want to live when I have so much to do for the people struggling TO live!!!!!!!"............Anyone else think that some days? Why are we doing things for some patients that either don't want to live, or whos quality of life will be decreased something fierce for making them live???? (sometimes I feel we do too much on some people somedays).

    I have those same thoughts on a daily basis, and I don't feel guilty about it. I read somewhere that this could be due to "Compassion Fatigue" -some new syndrome; I found a link on it:

    http://www.ace-network.com/cfspotlight.htm

    Having a good laugh with my co-workers usually helps me deal - I just love that sick ER humor.
    BTW -are you from across the pond? Couldn't help but notice your use of the word "arse". Love that word. So much better than ass. A word you can really get your teeth into (so to speak). But I digrass.
  13. by   Antikigirl
    You guys are just awesome! Thanks for this great discussion and sharing of feelings! I think it is good to discuss these things every now and then, especially at the holidays since these types of issues come up more often in the year.

    Once I thought about things a little deeper, I remembered that I have been quite frustrated lately since we recently got an influx of 'suicidal ideation' since October. I guess someone let the cat out of the bag and told every methhead in the area that if they wanted a warm bed, free food, and a slave (the nurse) that they just go into the local ER and say they are suicidal! We are getting about 5 a week now, some frequent flyers now.

    That is the cry wolf syndrome big time! For those people really honestly needing the help and wanting to commit suicide, well...there may not be enough beds because of the others who are faking it! Since I am good with people in general..and my charge knows it...I tend to get them!

    So I bet that also has so much to do with my frustration...both sets of patients need my help, but typically a suicidal pt on my watch will actually accept the help, where as the other just nods and I know they are thinking of their next fix.

    But either way...I smile and am the nurse I am .

    Oh and btw..I used the term arse because I like it! It just seems to hit the spot better than a**! LOL! Naaaaaaa..I am from Oregon . I also say tookus...LOL!
  14. by   Jay-Jay
    You never know what those suicidal patients have been through until you research their history. I currently have a good friend in hospital for suicidal ideation. Her mom and grandmother passed away this summer, within the same week. She has been trying to get help for months now to deal with the grief, and has not had any success. Dad is on welfare, and will have to give up his 3 bedroom apt. now he is alone. The place is just PACKED with clutter, and she has been trying to clean it up, without any help from him or her sisters. One of her sisters is ill, and my friend has taken on her care (makes sure she gets to her monthly hospital appt. for the IV medications she need to live a fairly normal life.) She has a crummy, low-paying job and doesn't stand much chance of getting anything better until she is able to get her life back on track, and finish her university education, which is on hold due to her emotional state.

    Her admission to ER was a real cry for help. Here she was helping all these other people, and no one was looking out for her. She knew her anti-depressant meds weren't working, but when she called the psychiatrist's office, she was told he couldn't see her for at least a month.

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