Most Fulfilling Nursing Experience - page 2

I am a BSN student who just started nursing school in June. I was hoping some of you could share your most fulfilling moment as a nurse. Thanks!... Read More

  1. by   Love-A-Nurse
    "i'm sure you're not implying that i shouldn't have done so."

    that would be childish if i were to imply that, to say the least. therefore the answer is no.
  2. by   suzannasue
    So many experinces, which should I tell??? Hmmmm...was working in neuro ICU..charge nurse told me I was getting an admission...6 yo female, severe head injury s/p mva. No problem, I had Peds experience and no one else would take the pt !!!!
    When they wheeled her into the room, connected her to the vent, I proceeded to do my neuro checks and vital signs as report was being given. Her father was taking her to Christmas play practice at their church...running a little late he turned in front of an 18 wheeler...knew he had enough time,ya know??? Father was in good shape, full impact of wreck on passenger side. This was the couple's only child. I was totally objective in my nusining care for this child, until the parents entered the room and the father fell to his knees asking daughter's forgiveness for being so stupid. The couple looked to be in their 40's...the mother said they had tried for 17 years to have a child and she was their gift from God... my eyes welled with tears as the mother told the story and the father sobbed at the bedside...my charge nurses comes in and tells them their visitation time is over..they leave the room,the mother almost carrying her husband as they left...
    I made sure my other pt was taken care of and then proceeded
    to clean up the little girl...she was still quite bloody from the accident so I washed her hair, combed it and arranged it in to fall over the back edge of the pillow...other than the severe head injury, her other injuries were mostly scrapes, small lacerations and lots of bruising...man o man, I really had her cleaned up and it made all the difference in the world...I went to the visitor area and escorted the parents into her room...the father was in really bad shape emotionally so I pulled a chair to the bedside so he wouldn't crash to the floor. The mother then told me that the neurosurgeon told her the prognosis was very poor for her child's recovery and that they may want to think about the possibility of organ donation or at best, long term care for their daughter...my heart broke for them and my "anger button" had been pushed by that cold hearted SOB neuro surgeon...it had only been a few hours...how could he say such a thing to these parents..then my "nurse persona" kicked in and I realized he was just preparing them for the worst, better than giving them hope then having to let them down...following their visit, I did a lot of praying and a lot of work with this child... I stimulated her and spoke to her about how she had to help us make her better...I went home that morning, physically and emotionionally exhausted. I hugged and kissed my girls for a long time before i let them go to school...Went to work that night and found my pt still not responding to anything, not triggering the ventilator with her own respirations...my other pt had been sent to the neuro stepdown unit so I concentrated my efforts on this child...sent the mother home to get her tape player and Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock tapes and any other music tapes the daughter loved...spent all night singing along with the tapes really loudly and giving her a physical workout that would tire any ofthe exercize guru's...I was very liberal with visitation of the parents...but hey...rules are made to be broken...at 0600,during a parental visitation,my charge nurse, then 8 months pregnant, called me out of the room and told me the parents had to leave,she was tired of them being around all night andshe was going to write me up for blatantly ignoring the visitation rules. I dunno...guess I had had enough that morning and told her "write me up,spell my name correctly is all I ask and by the way, you may be fertile Myrtle but this couple waited 17 years for this child and as long as I draw a breath they will come in here whenever and as long as they need and want, do YOU understand me?"...
    She turned on her heels and left. I then had several days off...when I returned I found my pt had been taken off the ventilator and taken to pediatric unit...still very little response but at least she was breathing on her own...she was discharged and was to be followed by home health,physical therapy, speech therapy...minimal recovery was expected.
    Christmas Eve....was walking from pts rom to nurse's station when I saw six adults standing at the end of the hall doors...they waved and I returned the wave..hmmmm...they looked familiar... oh yeah...I know them....from behind them came a little girl,walking on her own...carrying a fruit basket as large as herself...she walked up to me and as I looked into her face,she said "thank you for helping me sing in my sleep"...I literally fell to my knees sobbing and hugging her gently (was afraid I'd break that fragile baby)...the parent and grandparents joined us and we were all a mess..crying and laughing...laughing and crying...they were on their way to the church for the Christmas play and she was participating!!!!!
    She was making excellent progress and a full recovery was expected. Miracles happen. They really do.
    Forgive me for length of post...
    Last edit by suzannasue on Sep 6, '02
  3. by   jevans
    I have been in nursing for many years and fullfilling experiences are very common. They occur when you least expect them. They are even more special when you are down. They may be a simple smile or hug, a thank you, a shared experience in traumatic situations or even a personal development in a particular area.

    My story [one of many] is about a pt a met whilst still in medicine. He was a 52yr guy who had experienced a massive stroke. He was completely dependent, incontinent, unable to swallow, no sitting balance. The medical consultant informed the family that there was no hope. That they should start looking at a nursing home. The family were absolutely devastated.

    I suggested to the consultant that he should be refered to stroke rehab- the reply was that he will not do well, it is a waste of a bed and resources.

    Luckily there was a bed shortage in medicine and we as nurses had to identify pts to transfer out. I requested that this poor guy be assessed by the stroke liaison. Within 2hrs he was off to the stroke unit.

    Two months later I was lucky enough to get a job on the same stroke unit

    Three months later this guy who was destined for a nursing home with no hope of a future walked off the unit, discharged home.

    The elated family informed the previous medical consultant that had it not been for my persistance he would have been in anursing home

    Yes Iwas proud[you know you shouldn't but you are] of my involvement but I was so pleased and proud of the great effort and persistance of this guy

    j
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I consider almost EVERY shift rewarding in and of itself. Being part of the miracle of birth and new life starting in families is hard to top to me. And the hugs, notes and thank-you's I get from family and friends are so rewarding; I can't sa how much. However....

    Prolly the MOST rewarding time I can remember was when a well-to-do patient said to me: "you have inspired in me what I have denied a long time. I want to be a nurse and seeing how you love what you do and obviously care so much, I want to do it, too. " She proceeded to ask me about educational paths to take and such. She and I spent probably two hours discussing nursing and she realized she had ignored a calling and when she was recovered, would pursue it. Now, last I heard, she had enrolled at the local community college to start her pre-req's.

    It was rewarding to see someone who OBVIOUSLY did not "HAVE" to work want to go into nursing for the sheer desire of making a difference and doing "something significant with her life" (her words to me). THAT was BIGTIME rewarding to me and any part I had in that, gives me great pause to think. Nice thread!
  5. by   mintyRN
    The most fulfilling experience for me as a nurse has been the opportunity to care for my grandmother in her own home. She devoted her life to me when my mother died, and I feel honored to be taking care of her now. It's the little day to day things such as comforting patients or just listening to them that makes nursing fulfilling to me. I enjoy making a connection with patients and their families.
    Suzannasue that was a wonderful story! Right now I am doing peds homecare, and I am getting great pleasure watching a vent dependent infant learning to take her first steps. It is extremely rewarding to see the little ones that seem to have the odds stacked against them defy the docs and thrive!
  6. by   TracyB,RN
    Suzannasue, you have me totally in tears. That is soooo Awesome

    I had a cool thing happen today. . . I am new to the OR, only 2 weeks into my first service, when the surgeon told my preceptor that "this new chick is a keeper" & after the case was over, he actually complimented me & told me I was doing a "fantastic job." I think that will have me on cloud 9 for days.
  7. by   purplemania
    I took care of a little boy who (according to him) just could not walk. He had a ruptured appy, had surgery and I cared for him post-op. I was off 1-2 days and when I came back he was walking in the hall. He broke out in a grin and hugged me because now he could walk again. That is what nursing is about.
  8. by   deespoohbear
    Some of my most fulfilling moments have been when I see a person who was a patient and the recognize me. One time at the KMart there was a young girl, maybe 5 or 6 that I had as a patient when she had pneumonia. She was in the girls' dept with her Mom and she saw me and said in a loud voice "Mommy, that lady was my nurse at the hospital." Made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. :kiss Also when I am able to help ease a pt's pain and discomfort and see the relief they experience makes me feel good. I really feel good when my boys announce to their friends "my Mom is a nurse." It is the little things like this that help remind me daily why I chose this profession. Great thread.
  9. by   neneRN
    work in the ER- I absolutely love to get the acute MIs coming in looking horrible, work my butt off to get IVs, blood, EKG, drugs going as fast as I can- we do all of this within 15- 20 minutes in order to ship them up to cath lab; then getting a call from the cath lab saying they've cleaned up the blockage and pt is recovering well. What a rush!
    Actually, anything acute that we can get turned around is so fulfilling- that's why I love the ER, you often get to see such dramatic results from your care.
  10. by   mark_LD_RN
    i have had so many it is hard to narrow it down to just one. I find almost every day to be a rewarding experience. if i had to narrow it down to one it would be:
    my this 14 yr old labor patient i had when i was just one week out of school and in orientation she was a very immature little girl in labor when i got her she was yellling screaming cursing threatening to sue everyone. it was my assignment but the nurses offer to switch with me said i did not have to take her. well i decided to keep her, i spent 10 hours laboring her and pushed with her for 4 hours before she delivered. just avoid a c section. well after i recovered her i brought her to post partum.
    the most rewarding part would come the next day when i was working she buzzed to come in to see nurse Mark, when she came in i saw this sweet little young lady carring her foley in one hand and flowers and a gift in the other, they were for me, she gave me a big hug and kiss on the cheek. and thanked me for everything i did for her. all i could do is stand in the middle of L&D in front of everone and cry. i still have the nice plaque that she came me as a gift i look at it everyday before i go to work to remind me why i became a nurse. it still brings tears to my eyes to think or talk about it.

    there have been many more but i think this one will always be the most special she went from the worst patient you could imagine to one of my best that trusted me fully and did what ever i asked of her.
  11. by   2MagnoliaTrees
    Even though it wasn't very "medical" or complicated I did what my Mom always did for us, when I was a student. I had a young patient who was very nauseated and vomiting and when she finished I went into the bathroom, wet a washrag with cool water, wrung it out and gently wiped her face with it. She smiled at me and said Thank You and that it helped her feel so much better. I'll never forget that even though it was a simple thing to do.
    Last edit by 2MagnoliaTrees on Sep 9, '02
  12. by   MollyMo
    Two good memories out of thousands that always stand out in my mind. First, a patient that I was talking to went into v-tach right in the middle of the conversation. Successful code--he made a full recovery. He sent me a card and said "Thanks for saving my life." Second, another code. Another success. I saw him in the store one day and we started to talk. I asked if he remembered. He said" I remember somebody with the thing on my face and somebody jumping up and down on my chest yelling my name." I told him that was me. He told everybody in the store about the "angel that saved his life." Things like that make the crap worthwhile. I'm in nursing for people like them.
  13. by   pickledpepperRN
    Maybe not the most rewarding but I was just thinking about a patient who had an MI.
    His EKG looked scary. He did not believe he had had a heart attack. This guy told me, "I work out and I'm only 52."
    "Please just let me go home so I can pet my dog"

    He was on nitroglycerine and Heparin drips awaiting an angiogram in the AM. His admitting MD was willing to let him sign out AMA.
    I argued, explained, and listened to music to distract this guy all night.
    Turned out his LAD (widowmaker) was 99% occluded. He had angioplasty with a stent then went home the next night in a cab.
    For 24 hours he could have died.
    I saw his after a year. He yelled at me, "This is the mean nurse that wouldn't let me go home. Can you see I am fine?"
    Yes he is. I am glad. I truly believe he would have died.

    There are so many patients I will never forget. He was the least pleased with my care but just as unforgetable as the thankful ones.

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