interleukin's Nursing Blog

interleukin's Nursing Blog

interleukin (5,701 Views)

Joined Jan 10, '07. Posts: 404 (62% Liked) Likes: 1,976

The Immeasurable Fortitude of Mothers

After returning from vacation, I was assigned to "Robert", a 24 year-old suffering from septic shock, multi-system organ failure and late-stage muscular dystrophy. He was maxed out on chemical and ventilatory support. In his room, the wasted young man lay in the center of large specialty bed. His angular contracted body was dwarfed by a puffy blue mattress that appeared to be in process of swallowing him whole. During his short life, Robert had been hospitalized multiple times. But... Read More →

Love and Healthcare in the Third World

It almost appears that parents in the African bush don't seem to care when flies crawl over their child's face, or when their children play in contaminated water or sleep in flea-infested dirt-floor huts or catch diseases long eradicated here in the "developed" world. But too often these images are aired to advance specific agendas. So, I wanted to check out at least some small part for myself, up close, not filtered through someone else's lense. I always thought the more I experience the... Read More →

Sometimes, I'm Such a Moron!

We usually post a sign at the head of the bed if a patient has a nickname. Someone had done so for my patient, Mrs. B. Her nickname was, "Littlefoot". "Very cool," I thought to myself. "Someone with American Indian bloodline." Mrs. B. was intubated because of a stroke. She was one of two patients who were assigned to me for the weekend in our ICU. The unit was full and, not surprisingly, it was busy. A lack of support staff made it especially hectic. Still, I wanted Mrs. B. to feel as... Read More →

Just Another Code

A code is called…it’s the woman in room 11. Earlier, the paramedics found her--deep in the winter of her life--lying like a rag doll in a man’s lap. Shocks and drugs refocused her heart’s energy. She is whisked to the emergency room and then transferred intensive care. Now, the team of nurses and doctors stream in, prepared to wage war against the various demons of fate, or to some, the will of G-d. “Who is she,” asks a physician. But, “who” the woman is--her goodness, her... Read More →

Tips For Human Beings Entering Nursing

Janet didn't belong in nursing school ... or so we thought. Fresh into the first semester, she began arriving late or missed class altogether. If it wasn't a doctor's appointment, it was a car problem or some child-care issue. This single mother always had a quick excuse. Soon, anyone late or absent from class was accused of, "doing a Janet." Janet's speech was peppered with street slang and capped with bursts of nervous laughter. Many viewed her as an immigrant in her own country,... Read More →

In Bed With Dying Patient

Sometimes, a family member's behavior is so clouded by the grief and shock of a loss that we must be courageous enough to practice outside the box. My patient had been ejected from his car after hitting black ice. His prognosis for any recovery was a hairs-breath above zero. We knew he would never again walk this earth. The family was large and streamed in and out of the room. All were polite and respectful. The wife dutifully provided explanations and “stability” for the large family... Read More →