Just when you think you should hang up the stethoscope

by RehabRNjc 6,939 Views | 13 Comments

You and your co-workers marvel at the gesture and hope you won't get in trouble for accepting the pens, but all agree that this is why you're here. You made a difference for someone...maybe you can do it again for someone else.

  1. 40

    Just when you think you should hang up the stethoscope

    It's been a horrible week. Wednesday the patient who refused her TED hose developed DVTs, the patient across the hall is a sweet heart who manages to break your back no matter how you transfer him, the patient down the hall who will be a quadrapalegic for life cried when he was discharged because he was afraid still, the patient you are supposed to discharge to home with a family member takes two people to transfer, has a raging UTI, low BP's and crackles and rhonchii, you tell everyone, doctor, case manager, supervisor that said patient shouldn't be discharged. No body listens. Doctor seeks you out to remind you that her midline needs to be removed before she leaves (duh!), so you go take the darned thing out and he enters the room and yells "No you just pulled the midline! She needs IV antibiotics for her UTI!" Making you look stupid. You approach and ask if you should call for the PICC/midline team and he yells "Just go away!" Discharge cancelled. Supervisor tells you to "Suck it up" when you ask for help because you're behind because of above situations, then supervisor goes to lunch.

    Thursday, DVT lady develops PE, you've been informed by Physical Therapy that back breaker is an easy transfer, midline lady is on PO antibiotics and angry about not discharging, respiratory status still not addressed. By the way, Diva patient is angry that her oxycontin has been discontinued and now she has to depend on her Fentanyl and oxycodone prn alone (more to that story). Across the hall methadone patient has ileus (refused all bowel meds prior). On the way home, after staying almost an hour late to catch up on charting, tire goes flat, you feel like you got this, change the tire, but now you're so late that you don't have time to go birthday shopping for your kid's birthday tomorrow. The sitter can only stay until five thirty and you have to drop the real tire off to get fixed. Bummer. Then you find another sitter that can only stay until seven. At shopping center you are so stressed you loose your cell phone and have to find customer service. Phone found you grab some wrapping paper and check out, get to car and realize that car keys are also lost. You get sitter to bring spare keys but it's now 730 and she's late to her meeting.

    Friday, you go in ready for a fight. It's your kid's birthday and you resent not being there to see her wake up to gifts and decorated house (which you stayed up until almost midnight doing.) You fly through your assessments and med pass with a fake smile and an angry disposition. Your co-workers tell you to just make it through today and you have the weekend off. You give them mean looks. WOW what have you become. You take your lunch break and then come back with apologies all around. Your co-workers accept apologies because it was so out of character for you to be grumpy and they've been there too. But you're considering quitting and finding a nice job checking out groceries.

    Then it happens...the little old lady comes up to you with tears in her eyes and a small package. She explains that you helped her husband turn the corner and get better and now he is going home. She believes you are the one who changed everything by listening to her when she told you how to deal with him. You were the nurse who believed her and adjusted the care plan so he was able to participate in physical therapy better. Now he's about to walk out the door with her and her eyes are filled with gratitude. The small package contains a wooden pen in a beautiful box. You don't accept gifts, but she explains that she is legally blind and took a taxi up town to get the gift on a special trip for you. The gesture, more than the gift, is too much to refuse. She seeks out a couple other nurses and gives them the same gift, explaining how they specifically helped her and her husband and then they leave.

    You and your co-workers marvel at the gesture and hope you won't get in trouble for accepting the pens, but all agree that this is why you're here. You made a difference for someone...maybe you can do it again for someone else.
    Last edit by Joe V on May 5, '12
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    RehabRNjc joined May '12. Posts: 16 Likes: 61; Learn more about RehabRNjc by visiting their allnursesPage


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    13 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Awesome Post
    msnstudent likes this.
  5. 2
    HAppy Nurses Week!

    this is a great story, and yes, its about the gratitude of those few patients who remind us why we do what we do. THE insanity of our jobs, with multiple personalities all exhibiting thier own stess and the nurses ability to conitnue on, because the patients need us. WE KNOW that if we did now exist, our health care (diease maintenence system) would not function.
    Keep up the great work! and enjoy usoing your PEN!
    TiddlDwink and msnstudent like this.
  6. 1
    That is an account that many of us have encountered or will encounter during our experience as a nurse.Thanks for sharing.
    msnstudent likes this.
  7. 1
    THANK YOU, it's not the gift, the gratitude, it's making that difference and the reminder of success, that we all show up for the next shift.... even if no one notices it.
    msnstudent likes this.
  8. 0
    Love this post..as a new RN, I know exactly why I chose the nursing profession...NOT for the money but for stories like these. It is true for CNA's too, I was a CNA for 5 yrs before becoming a nurse.
  9. 8
    Quote from RehabRNjc
    It's been a horrible week. Wednesday the patient who refused her TED hose developed DVTs, the patient across the hall is a sweet heart who manages to break your back no matter how you transfer him, the patient down the hall who will be a quadrapalegic for life cried when he was discharged because he was afraid still, the patient you are supposed to discharge to home with a family member takes two people to transfer, has a raging UTI, low BP's and crackles and rhonchii, you tell everyone, doctor, case manager, supervisor that said patient shouldn't be discharged. No body listens. Doctor seeks you out to remind you that her midline needs to be removed before she leaves (duh!), so you go take the darned thing out and he enters the room and yells "No you just pulled the midline! She needs IV antibiotics for her UTI!" Making you look stupid. You approach and ask if you should call for the PICC/midline team and he yells "Just go away!" Discharge cancelled. Supervisor tells you to "Suck it up" when you ask for help because you're behind because of above situations, then supervisor goes to lunch.

    Thursday, DVT lady develops PE, you've been informed by Physical Therapy that back breaker is an easy transfer, midline lady is on PO antibiotics and angry about not discharging, respiratory status still not addressed. By the way, Diva patient is angry that her oxycontin has been discontinued and now she has to depend on her Fentanyl and oxycodone prn alone (more to that story). Across the hall methadone patient has ileus (refused all bowel meds prior). On the way home, after staying almost an hour late to catch up on charting, tire goes flat, you feel like you got this, change the tire, but now you're so late that you don't have time to go birthday shopping for your kid's birthday tomorrow. The sitter can only stay until five thirty and you have to drop the real tire off to get fixed. Bummer. Then you find another sitter that can only stay until seven. At shopping center you are so stressed you loose your cell phone and have to find customer service. Phone found you grab some wrapping paper and check out, get to car and realize that car keys are also lost. You get sitter to bring spare keys but it's now 730 and she's late to her meeting.

    Friday, you go in ready for a fight. It's your kid's birthday and you resent not being there to see her wake up to gifts and decorated house (which you stayed up until almost midnight doing.) You fly through your assessments and med pass with a fake smile and an angry disposition. Your co-workers tell you to just make it through today and you have the weekend off. You give them mean looks. WOW what have you become. You take your lunch break and then come back with apologies all around. Your co-workers accept apologies because it was so out of character for you to be grumpy and they've been there too. But you're considering quitting and finding a nice job checking out groceries.

    Then it happens...the little old lady comes up to you with tears in her eyes and a small package. She explains that you helped her husband turn the corner and get better and now he is going home. She believes you are the one who changed everything by listening to her when she told you how to deal with him. You were the nurse who believed her and adjusted the care plan so he was able to participate in physical therapy better. Now he's about to walk out the door with her and her eyes are filled with gratitude. The small package contains a wooden pen in a beautiful box. You don't accept gifts, but she explains that she is legally blind and took a taxi up town to get the gift on a special trip for you. The gesture, more than the gift, is too much to refuse. She seeks out a couple other nurses and gives them the same gift, explaining how they specifically helped her and her husband and then they leave.

    You and your co-workers marvel at the gesture and hope you won't get in trouble for accepting the pens, but all agree that this is why you're here. You made a difference for someone...maybe you can do it again for someone else.
    Just read this article after a brutal week on the job, and a sleepless night last night wondering what else i can do after 27 years of nursing if I get fired for the 3 times I LIED to my boss when she asked, "are you doing your every 2 hr rounding with the doctors" after they had called her, to whine they had not seen me all day (I was far too busy helping my deserving co workers with the massive influx of very sick pt's at one time in our already overtaxed ED) had not had a break, a drink of water, or a morsel of food in 8hours, When i remembered a pt who had been found pulseless after a herion OD, placed on a ventilator, and would probably never wake up, before the ED doc had the conversation with his mother about discontinuing life support. I escorted her into his room and stayed with her while she held his hand, and sang a song I'm sure was a lullaby from his childhood, I did not realize I was crying until she wiped away MY TEARS, and said Nurses are God's angels on earth, Thank You for taking care of my boy and not judging him. Like the author of this article, it made me realize why I keep going back!!!
    TiddlDwink, Zookeeper3, beckster_01, and 5 others like this.
  10. 0
    really does say why we do what we have to do day after day,hope everyone who see this gets a little feeling of accomplishment
  11. 0
    thank you for sharing !!! I know I have rough days ahead.. but these postings inspires me.
  12. 0
    Wonderful post! Thank you


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