In honor of 9/11.... what was it like as a nurse? - page 2

I was on my way home from work, listening to the radio, and everybody is playing things in honor of 9/11. Today is my birthday. On 9/11, I was getting my drivers license. I was too young to... Read More

  1. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    Quote from FancypantsRN
    I was not a nurse yet on 9/11 but that event is what led me to nursing. I was a flight attendant. I was NYC based and was on a trip that morning (New York to Chicago flight). Actually 10 years right now I was with a coworker at the time visiting her friend in the north tower.
    I was furloughed right after 9/11 as my base was closed. The airline massively downsized and eventually ceased to exist. My next step? Nursing school. I still can't believe it's been 10 years.
    Your story seriously gave me chills. It's crazy what a difference a day makes, isn't it?
  2. by   nurseprnRN
    my husband worked in new york and was in those buildings many, many times. as a matter of fact, he was on the last train that ran underneath them the first time they were attacked in 1993, by a truck bomb parked in their underground lot. i was frantic because i knew exactly when he would be there, he didn't have a cell phone, and i had no way to reach him until he rolled up the driveway about 7 hours later; he had no idea what had happened, having no radio in his car.

    on september 11, 2001 our daughter in law was in labor; she is a financial analyst and her whole office and everyone in it were obliterated. her husband called us to tell us what was going on; i was at my desk in my home office and couldn't believe it. the little girl was born just after midnight, on september 12.
    Last edit by nurseprnRN on Sep 10, '11
  3. by   Hospice Nurse LPN
    FancyPants and Grn Tea--Your stories are what I call a "God thing". Gives me chills.
  4. by   xtxrn
    I was working as an MDS coordinator at a LTC, but was off for surgery. I was 5 days post-op (and still foggy from anesthesia) and my dad called. He told to get up and turn on the TV. I did, and was stunned. I turned it on just as the second plane hit. I didn't know what to do- make sure my car had a full tank of gas? Get to the store and get bottled water?

    For the next 2 weeks, I was inundated with 9/11 information (no distraction of going to work). It really skewed a lot. When I got back to work, where people were appropriately upset, I was livid that they were worrying about having the right shoes for some insignificant outing. I didn't get how anyone could be even concerned about something so trivial when people had been blown out of their shoes. It took a long time for me to grasp that moving on wasn't any sort of minimization about what happened- but probably a good way to go on with life.

    I still can't watch the footage. I didn't know anyone there, and was in TX- so not even close. I can't imagine how it was for those who were in the areas where the planes hit. Or how anyone can rationalize that it was in anyway justifiable.
  5. by   highlandlass1592
    I was actually a travel nurse at the time. I remember getting off work, watching tv and trying to unwind, witnessing what was taking place. I didn't sleep at all that day. Called my boyfriend at home and we talked quite a bit.

    Got on the internet and found travel nurses across the country getting ready to mobilize. I remember contacting my company to make arrangements to leave to go to NY. A company I once worked for was packing up nurses to travel cross country to NY (the company was based in Nevada but these nurses were from NY). There was a flurry of discussions about arranging temporary licenses from the NY BON...word went out that if you had a license in good standing the NY BON would honor it..worry about the details later.

    Finally took a nap in to get ready to go...then a mass email went out not to come....I think that hit me hardest. When you got in rescue mode, willing to do anything, when you saw such devestation and horror, you mentally put yourself in a place to prepare to do what needs to be done. Then to be told never mind...it was then that I sat and cried. My home base at the time was in NC, many, many friends who were either in the service or had family in the service, everyone went on high alert. And were ready to deploy when the call came...a time I will never, ever forget.

    What changed my life most was the lesson that I needed to remind the people I cared about how much they meant to me. I couldn't get out of my head the idea of losing loved ones and never being able to say goodbye, to say I loved someone. I realized it was important to let those around me know how much they meant to me, to tell them I cared about them, loved them. Because, honestly, you never know when you walk out a door if you will see them again. I live by that creed now...friends I've made after 9/11 just think I"m a compassionate person...and I am. But I don't take for granted anymore the wonderful people I have in my life. And I try to remind them in many ways how thankful I am for them.
  6. by   JustBeachyNurse
    I was not a nurse, but I did work in healthcare. I was also a volunteer with disaster training at my local Red Cross chapter.

    The hardest for the healthcare workers on "standby" in NJ is that any survivors or victims were sent to NYC hospitals, and a few to north Jersey hospitals, so there was no one to save, treat, or care for. Hospitals 100+ miles away from NYC had staff ready to care for the injured, but their services were not needed.

    Most people felt the need to "do something". The classes for disaster training at the local Red Cross chapter were packed to capacity. Some were (sorely) disappointed that after an orientation to disaster services they would not be shuttled straight to ground zero (some actually walked out of the introductory class when it was announced in the beginning of the class how one becomes eligible to respond to disasters with the Red Cross) I suspect that very few are still even casual volunteers with disaster services, especially now in the recent years with so many opportunities for service due to floods, and other weather disasters.
    Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on Sep 10, '11
  7. by   Sparrowhawk
    I wasn't a nurse yet, I was just 15. We had just gotten up to do chores and I had just finished feeding my calf and came in for breakfast and mom and dad had the news on and it slowly sunk in..I thought the end of the world was going to happen...It was a very quiet, sober day....made me one patriotic teenager to.
  8. by   FancypantsRN
    Quote from Hospice Nurse LPN
    FancyPants and Grn Tea--Your stories are what I call a "God thing". Gives me chills.
    I agree. I still get chills myself and still feel a bit in shock. I guess it's one of those things that the shock and sadness will never really wear off.
  9. by   nerdtonurse?
    My BIL's brother was supposed to be in the Pentagon actually in the section that was hit for a meeting (computer vendor), but he had to stop on the way in and get a piece of equipment he wanted to demonstrate and was running late. We were all hysterical because we couldn't get up with him and couldn't get up with him, and my BIL knew he was supposed to be at the Pentagon that day -- he'd actually gotten in the car and started driving for DC to go look for him. Mark was trying to call his mom, couldn't get thru, finally got our Mom, and she said she listened to a grown man crying on the phone because he was literally a minute away from being in the parking lot when they flew the plane into the building. The people he was supposed to meet with all died.
  10. by   RNperdiem
    I was 28 and the charge nurse in the SICU. We always keep the TV on in the staff lounge, so when the secretary announced what was happening, all TVs in patient rooms went on.
    The OR staff was insulated, there was a group of doctors who never knew what was happening until hours later.
  11. by   VivaLasViejas
    It was my second day as an ADON at a small nursing facility. I was just waking up when my sister, who lived with my family and me at the time, ran into my room and hollered, "You've got to get up and see the TV.......planes have hit the World Trade Center and it's on fire.......the Pentagon is on fire........they're saying we are under attack." My husband had gone to work at six, but the three kids who were in school at that time were still home, getting ready for their day. They were already parked in front of the TV, and my oldest daughter and I got to the living room just in time to see what was then brand-new footage of the second plane hitting the WTC, and the giant fireball that erupted on impact.

    None of us got to school, or work, on time. We sat transfixed for the next two hours, unable to tear ourselves away from the horror that was happening right before our eyes. Finally I realized that I HAD to go in---it was a new job, after all---and do what I could to help the staff and residents cope with the disaster.

    The place was in utter chaos when I got there. The administrator had apparently ordered all the TVs to be turned off because some of the residents were re-living their war experiences and getting extremely upset and agitated; in fact, one who was an actual Pearl Harbor survivor had an MI and was taken to the hospital in the middle of all this. But the TVs blared on, in the dining room, dayroom and residents' rooms alike, because everyone was freaking out---a few of the staff had family or friends in the areas where the attacks took place, and those of us who didn't were just plain blown away by what we had seen that morning. We gathered around TV screens of all sizes because we NEEDED to be there, needed whatever bits of information we could get. After all, my generation and the ones after it had never experienced anything like this, not on this scale anyway. I mean, not even the Kennedy assassinations had had this kind of impact on us. And as we all agreed later that day, we knew that something vital had changed forever......we just didn't know how much had changed, or how the ripple effects from these events would eventually touch all of our lives in some way.
  12. by   pinkiepie_RN
    I was 14 and in 9th grade English class. I can't believe it's been 10 years. I've lived and grown so much since then. I'm much more aware of politics now. I work in psych, so I can only imagine my colleagues were either allowing the patients to watch TV or doing a hell of a lot of de-briefing and grief counseling or distraction.
  13. by   glencovediva
    I was in nursing school and working as a lab supervisor at a specialty hospital in midtown manhattan in NYC.My co-worker was listening to Z-100 radio station and they said a plane flew in the WTC. At first I thought it was one of the stations "phone scams" that they were always doing, an I laughed. But my co-worker insisted it was not. I still didn't believe it. Soon everybody was saying that a plane hit the twin towers. We all gathered in the lobby to watch the tv, an sure enough, the first tower was on fire. Then, all of a sudden, I saw the second plane hit the other building live on tv. We all screamed. Then we were placed on disaster alert. We were going to be a staging area as the victims were going to go to area trauma centers. Unfortunately, no one survived. A group of us walked home that night over the 59th Street bridge. 35 years ago, I used to work as a bank teller in the tower that had Windows on The World, so I was very familiar that building. To this day, I just can't believe those buildings that I knew so long ago are not there anymore.

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