How has nursing changed you? - page 3

I definitely don't feel like the same person I was, years ago, before I started going to nursing school and working in healthcare. How has nursing changed you?... Read More

  1. by   Tenebrae
    Quote from EGspirit
    He was comatose. Nothing hurt or offended him...
    How do you know that?

    There are countless reports of patients who have been comatose who have been able to hear what is going on in the room around them.

    To say nothing hurt or offended him is to ignore his personhood and is devaluing him as a person. He may not have been able to respond to you, however that doesn't give you free reign to proselytise

    Helpful hint, if you wouldn't say it to a patient who is conscious, dont say it to the patient who is unconscious.

    You dont know what they hear
  2. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from EGspirit
    He was comatose. Nothing hurt or offended him... hope.
  3. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from prnqday
    I feel old , tired and fat .
    I am old, tired and fat.
  4. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from Davey Do
    Yeah, but prnqday, would we not still be old, tired, and fat had we not gone into nursing?
    Surely not this old, this tired and this fat.
  5. by   macawake
    Quote from EGspirit
    He was comatose. Nothing hurt or offended him...
    You cannot possibly know if he heard you and unless you are 100% certain that he was of the same faith as you, you can't be sure that you didn't hurt him.

    Quote from EGspirit
    For the record, I hope my patient was able to hear me.
    Is nursing in your opinion about you or about your patient?

    Quote from EGspirit
    And if the worst thing he had to endure was my statement of faith meant to encourage him and give him strength, then he got off pretty easy.
    What do you mean he got off easy? If your patient was on the same page as you in regards to faith, then no, you probably didn't cause him emotional pain. If on the other hand he wasn't, what you did was a gross ethical violation. Of course a nurse could do even more egregious things to a helpless patient if they were so inclined, but does that really mean that a patient should consider themselves lucky if they only have to endure hearing things that cause them distress whispered in their ear?

    Quote from EGspirit
    Keep in mind, the reason I did all that I did for him was because a bunch of lazy nurses before me never did--probably atheists.
    Okay, now you sound like you're trying to pick a fight. I'll ignore that attempt.

    Quote from brandy1017
    I don't see anything wrong with what he said. I find it sad you find offense where there is none.
    How can I make you understand?

    Imagine the following scenario. A person you love is terminally ill, hospitalized and unconscious. The patient is a Christian. S/he is cared for by an atheist nurse who provides excellent nursing care for the physical body. But since her atheist convictions are important to her and it pains her that so many people believe in things that aren't real, she leans in and whispers in her patient's ear. "Your family will be here soon. You must hang on a moment longer so that they have a chance to say goodbye. Be strong for them because once you draw your final breath, that's it. There's no afterlife. There's nothing. You will simply be gone, but you will remain a loving and cherished memory in the hearts of your loved ones".

    Is this acceptable to you? Personally I think it's vile, even if I happen to believe that the nurse is correct. She just has no business imposing her views on a helpless patient. Neither does a Christian nurse.
  6. by   Jedrnurse
    Quote from pixierose
    And I find it upsetting that someone might impose their religious beliefs onto my mother, who is indeed facing death, when she least can prevent it.

    At this stage of someone's life, the end game ... I know my mom doesn't want to hear all about God. She has a different belief system. Let her take peace from that. I want her last thoughts be of her own belief system because that's what brings her comfort in this time of pain. Her upbringing used God as punishment and thus God is not comforting (not that I need to explain that).

    I find it upsetting that, when someone politely states that this might be deemed inappropriate, they are called childish.

    I trust my mothers' care in her nurses hands. ALL aspects of care. Including this.
    If you review the timbre and content of OP's other posts, you'll see that some of the things you're mentioning are common themes.
  7. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Happy Sunday All!!!

    Has nursing changed me? You betcha. Some for the good & some for the bad but that's life. I've been a nurse a long time and have seen excellent members of our profession provide life-saving and world class care to Veterans and give great comfort to their families. It has been a rare privilege to work in the company of such dedicated professionals. On the other hand I've worked with unprofessional, lazy slobs who gossip and bring their baggage and preconceived BS to the workplace. It has been much less of a privilege to endure their nonsense.

    On to the religious babblings. I'm an old Vet who has seen combat, raised a family and lived a life. During that life I've formed opinions on the whole afterlife and religion issues. Simply put I think they are hogwash born of man's ego that tells him that he is so wonderful that surely life must go on after death. After all how can the Cosmos continue to exist without his much needed contribution.

    This being the case I'm now sure that while there may be no heaven there certainly is a hell on earth. Laying there without the ability to tell some preachy nurse to shut up when he is babbling in contradiction to my beliefs sounds like hell to me. After all I would be the dying patient aren't my last moments supposed about comforting me and not providing an opportunity for proselytizing that I want no part of? We are supposed to care for our patients not the other way around.

    In so far as laziness and religiosity. I've seen plenty of god-squading nurses be quite content to sit on their butts while the non-believers work. I've seen it the other way around also. I see no correlation what so ever in my experience between piety and ability, smarts or work ethic.
  8. by   RNrhythm
    Just the usual stuff:
    • I look at my friends and families and see chronic conditions starting and wonder how it will end.
    • I am very protective of my mobility.
    • I look at my spouse and think of all the things that I have seen and want to spare us from as we age.
    • My words are optimistic but my thoughts are very pragmatic.
    • I have become somewhat utilitarian in my clothing and nutrition.
    • I am wary of excess sugar in my diet.
    • I care about organs, like pancreas and kidneys, that I never thought about before.
    • I am grateful that I live a life free of pain.
    • I am grateful for the affection, support, and humor of my loved ones. Some people are so alone.
    • I am grateful that my mind is clear and I am not at war with myself.
  9. by   RNrhythm
    Quote from EGspirit
    Keep in mind, the reason I did all that I did for him was because a bunch of lazy nurses before me never did--probably atheists.
    I respect the care you provided but am confused that you think it was atypical. Your compassionate end of life care is how we do things at my current and previous hospital. You know your work environment so it must be a hard job working with lazy nurses.

    If he could hear you and comprehend, I think he would have more on his mind that to nit pick your well intentioned words.

    Your comment about atheists is completely out of line. I see very few actual practicing Christians in the world and very little correlation between self-identified Christians and the actual teachings of Jesus Christ. It looks to me that for most people, their Christianity is more akin to their sports team. Where I live, there are a lot of mega-churches and hypocrisy, so maybe I am jaded.

    You absolute cannot judge a nurse by their religious affiliation. I have seen too much pride, smugness, judgementalism, and a profound lack of compassion in those who loudly proclaim their Christianity. They think they are getting a free pass because they are on the 'right' team. Actual Christianity is hard.

    An atheist is just as kind, caring, and compassionate as the next nurse and isn't doing it because of threat of punishment in the afterlife.
    Last edit by RNrhythm on Feb 4
  10. by   pixierose
    Quote from EGspirit
    For the record, I hope my patient was able to hear me. I doubt it, but I hope so. I did my best for him and his family, and my best is something I have always had a very good reputation for as a nurse, even among people who didn't like me. Keep in mind, the reason I did all that I did for him was because a bunch of lazy nurses before me never did--probably atheists.

    So, my best comes with my religious convictions. The only reason I'm a nurse and not an accountant is because of my religious convictions. I have had so many dying patients. I have been on so many codes. When you've walked a mile in my shoes then I might listen to you. I loved my patient as I love myself. I did unto him, as I would have it done unto me. That's what my best comes with. And I can tell you right now, he was lucky I was his nurse. He never regained consciousness. He died. But when his family came to see him, he looked dignified instead of disheveled. He was clean, orderly, smelled good, and looking at peace.

    Judge me? Go judge yourself.

    I was his nurse. He was my patient. He couldn't do for himself, so I did for him. And if the worst thing he had to endure was my statement of faith meant to encourage him and give him strength, then he got off pretty easy. He was an old man, a vet, he raised a family. I doubt he was offended by my comments--and I hope that he did hear them.
    I'll go back to my mom's care, as it is in the forefront of my mind (obviously).

    When you spend so much time with nursing care, at the end of life, sometimes you get to know some of the nurses.

    Thankfully I have never encountered one such as you. There is a nurse that wears a cross, but not once has she ever thrown her religious beliefs onto myself or my mom.

    They all do everything you say you did for this vet. You did nothing special. You did your job. And I'm sure there may be a few atheists in the bunch.

    This agnostic does the same for her patients. To treat them with dignity and respect.

    I am bowing out of this thread as I am now taking this rather personally. To think that there are nurses out there that would think there is nothing wrong at all with inflicting their religious belief system onto someone at their most vulnerable, someone at the end of their life ... you have taken away someone's peace yet in your arrogance say you have not in the name of God. That they are "lucky" to have you.

    My mother was physically abused as a child in the name of God. To hear this on her death bed ... I feel physically ill. To force her to hear that she is a child of God, or whatnot ... that is NOT respect. That is NOT love.

    Shame on you.
  11. by   djh123
    It's maybe a little different for me since I'm a late, second-career nurse. And I think getting older, life lessons, and thinking about mortality is part of all of this too. I was already like this in many respects, but I think I'm more empathetic, more generous, less judgemental, more service-oriented ... I think it's part of what's made me a better person, actually, in recent years.
  12. by   theRPN2b
    I have definitely learned to brush off people's rudeness and bad attitudes. Many patients are great,but there are always going to be rude ones and ones that are just plain mean. I learned to not let it bother me (where as before nursing it would have really bothered me).
  13. by   Davey Do
    Quote from KatieMI
    I remember quite a few things, mostly sounds, and I understood some of what was said by others. Some of those things I interpreted wrongly (and, for some reason, always unpleasantly)
    That is so interesting that you say you interpreted things unpleasantly, Katie, as there were two different stages of my comatose state.

    The first stage, which was probably the deeper state of being unconscious, was akin to many stories I've read of near death experiences. GENERALLY pleasant experiences. The second was misinterpretation of my environment, the ICU, which were generally unpleasant experiences.
    Quote from KatieMI
    Back in my home country, I once cared for a young woman who fell asleep drunk in the middle of winter. She was, pretty much, deep frozen, but she was young and otherwise healthy, so we tried our and her luck and started intensive care. In the middle of it, the chief physician said aloud something like "couple of hours more, and we'll quit working on that frozen piece of meat". She was comatose all right at that point with, as far as I remember, not even corneal reflex. She slowly woke up with minor residual deficits. In a few weeks, when she by chance met that doctor again, she suddenly asked him, straight in face if he ever named her "a piece of frozen meat" or it was her bad dream, or something? Poor doc almost got heart attack then and there!
    Again, interesting! I first learned of the mammalian diving reflex in a seminar as an EMT in 1981.

    Sherwin Nuland in his book How We Die, believes the brain during its shutdown is bombarded by neurotransmitters to the point that the individual is capable of extraordinary senses, like the out of body experiences by those having had an NDE.