isthatso? 1,887 Views
Joined: May 22, '11;
Posts: 12 (42% Liked)
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This is too funny!! Just today we were talking about one our patients ( CVA) that is an RN. Her speech is starting to come back and she has the worst potty mouth.We were having a good laugh about it and then someone said "well she was an ER nurse.A potty mouth is a requirement". lol
Awww. Trust me after the 5th time a Doc yells at you for something that's not your fault, a superwoman coworker sarcastically talks about your full 30min break, and you get the nerve to tell a disrespectful/disrupting family member to calm down or get gone...you will totally feel like an old timer quick! Don't worry everyday you make it back your skills grow, and before you know it a newbie is asking your advice. Enjoy the process, and keep a diary. Trust me you will laugh.
Let me show them the Peri/Rectal/Scrotal abcess that one of my male patients had I&D'd yesterday, and we will see who is "Less Manly"! It would have the most manly man runnin for the hills! Only a Super Man can become a nurse!
Can you say OUCH!
Every now and again there is a moment in our jobs which lingers in back of our minds, niggling at our focus, bobbing on the outskirts of all other important thoughts and well, just generally being a royal pain.
I first wish to disclose that I do not oppose students of any variety. We all start somewhere. I just sometimes wish I understood them a little better. After all, the last thing I expected in answer to my standard, "So....any questions about what you saw today?" was....well.....the following:
Today a nursing student decided that the only question worth asking me was, "Don't you think praying with your patients is unprofessional? I mean, it's kinda pointless."
I wish I could make this up, but I'm not that creative. Of all the things to talk to me regarding....that is what the student wanted to discuss. Mind you, she had just gotten done observing a trigger-finger release turned code, and that is what she had as a question.
And I didn't have the time to answer. Something about transporting the patient to ICU and all that coming first.
So I find myself turning here, as I did the last time something at work was nibbling on the edge of my brain and toying with my frayed sanity, to babble until the voices are pacified and leave me in peace. You see, apparently I will not be granted rest until the answer to the question is given. I only hope that, in some way, some part of this makes its way to her.
And I sincerely thank you for taking the time to listen.
Dear Nursing Student,
I do not believe it to be inappropriate or pointless to pray with patients, regardless of personal beliefs. I believe prayer can offer us, as caregivers, a rare snap shot of the patient's concerns, hopes and well being as it is voiced in their prayer.
I agree that patients ought to be the ones to lead the prayer, unless they are too weak to do so. In those moments, I have offered to sit quietly with them, hold their hand, and allow them peace and silent reflection. I have never been declined.
In the world of surgery, a patient's desire to pray is quite common, and each and every time I find myself feeling touched when I am included in their prayer--when my patients take the time to request that God, under whichever name, in whichever form they personally believe, aid me to find peace and focus and to guide my hand and that of their surgeon.
Prayer is powerful for reasons beyond just basic spirituality. Prayer can soothe when nothing else seems to help. Prayer can offer a shred of familiarity and warmth in an otherwise alien and cold world. Prayer shows the power of hope and humility even in the face of something as bold and encompassing as death. I believe that prayer can ground, can aid in the process of grief, can open channels of communication among people, and can make even the battiest, crotchetiest patient seem that much more human.
And thus I pray with my patients.
Open heart surgery is not about a cure. It's not. It's about buying time. It's a gamble; a gambit; a spin of the roulette wheel with the stakes being at their absolute highest: life or death.
After all, it is one of the very few surgeries where we, for all intensive purposes, kill you and then, through the wonders of chemistry, physics, modern medicine, 20 J or so of directly applied electricity and a little bit of Pixie dust, coax your body back to self-sufficient life.
Let's just ignore the whole "there has been someone rooting around in your chest, rewiring your heart with various bits of vein and maybe even a mammary artery, with the same focused intensity as a bomb diffuser" factor. That just goes without saying.
So when my heart patients want to pray....I pray.
As with all things, there is always a story, isn't there? A moment, brought to the fore by a seemingly innocent interaction, which has become the representation of a personal, undeniable, defining truth.
There is always a story.
It was a standard pickup from pre-op: tearful family members doing their utmost to hide their trembling hands and force a brave, if not watery, smile all for the sake of the very calm....too calm....gently 67 year old woman on the bed. They bid their farewells--or as I call them "see you laters" as I don't believe goodbye is appropriate--each taking the time to cling to the woman and kiss her cheeks, forehead and even chin. She remains composed. Quiet.
I remain baffled.
You see, I'm used to the typical nervous babbling that eventually disintegrates into weeping or even sobbing. I'm used to the stony silences of people taking a moment to steel themselves against what is to come.
But this is calm.
And I am baffled.
It's easy enough to shrug off in the routine of dialogue, preparation and eventual departure from the pre-op area. We head back to the OR suite in easy silence. She doesn't seem to be one who wishes to talk and I refuse to force the issue. I know that in my moments of silence or reflection, I hate to be disturbed. I tend to project myself onto others.
The doors of the suite open and we are greeted with the usual hub-bub of too many people in the room doing too much all at the same time; perfusionists are talking with the surgeon who is simultaneously chatting on the phone; anesthesia is addressing the patient who is doing her absolute best to listen and follow his directions which are heard beneath the din of surgical pans being opened, a back table being prepped, scrubbers in conversation about instrumentation, the assisting PA speaking to me about a possible balloon pump and circulators chirping and cooing niceties and greetings to patient. Couple that with a chilly temperature and some brighter than bright lights and the environment is overwhelming, to say the least.
She is situated on the bed, still keeping her peace, scarcely acknowledging the team with anything more than a nod or shake of her head. She remains stoic as she lies snuggled in warm blankets, almost reminding me of a toddler seeking refuge from the boogey man. As I take my post to begin to assist with prep for intubation, she speaks for the first time since answering my pre-op questions.
"I wish to pray with you."
It has been years. Years. And I can hear her still. Her voice wavered a little and was muted from the dryness of her mouth. Yet her voice and words stopped the world.
At least, that's what it felt like.
I have never seen so many people freeze so quickly. I have never seen my surgeon hang up in the middle of a conversation before that moment. Words died on lips, scrubbers abandoned their field to draw close as each member of the team, with exception of our sterile comrades, came up to her and placed a hand on her in a silent affirmation:
We are here and we are listening.
What she said in her prayer will not be repeated. Not because it is not important. Much to the contrary, I feel a need to protect her words--what may have been her last conscious conversation with God-- and honor them as the private moment they were and are. They are not my words to share.
But from those words, I can tell you I gained an understanding of this woman that I otherwise would have been denied. I learned something of her and recognized in her, in that moment, a kindred individual.
I understand in hindsight that somehow, in some small way, she knew. She knew and rather than fleeing from it; she embraced it.
We fought for her as we battle for each and every patient. I shall omit the details, suffice to say, her passing was not pretty--I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it seldom is in our world.
I like to think that her moment of prayer in the arms of the surgical team gave her peace and resolve to face whatever afterlife she believed in. I like to think that her prayer lives and breathes in the memories of those that were present, even if they do not recognize it. I, myself, feel humbled and blessed to have born witness to a moment that united people from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, from all belief systems.
No, I am not a religious individual. My beliefs are private as they are mine, and I guard what is mine with keen jealousy.
But I do believe in the power of prayer.
Forgive my half-baked rambling. Now that I have purged, I find myself tired and ready to attempt to sleep.
Thank you, once again, for listening.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Sociopath
Any typos and errors are indisputably the result of my own ignorance. I do not deny it, but I am currently too exhausted to care.
This isn't from a patient, but from her 5 yr. old grandson. I was making a home-health visit to change the dressing of this womans large, open post-hysterectomy wound. As I was removing the previous VERY bloody packing, her grandson siddled up beside me, trying to put on a pair of gloves. She said, "Are you going to help the nurse?" He was wide-eyed with excitement when he said with great enthusiasm, "I WANT TO PUT MY HANDS IN THE BLOOD!" :grn:
(Nurse asking admission questions) " So what brought you in today sir?"
(patient) " The ambulance"
I had a patient with only one leg who kept trying to get out of bed without his prosthesis. Found him in a heap on his mat one more time. He goes, "Before you say anything maam, I did not fall. It was a controlled landing."
I worked in a progressive care unit too (step down telemetry) and was doing rounds when I came to an elderly lady who seemed fine, UNTIL I asked what had brought her in.."I was minding my own business in the backyard when a plane came by and straffed me in the head.." Needless to say she had a psych consult...And, not too long after that during a float to the emergency room I had a woman tell me she took latex and rabbit pills (turned out to be lasix and verapamil). Now that I am on OB, there are too many to mention in one post. I do, however, notice that a lot of patients ask for an "epidermal" instead of an epidural...
Personal favorite didn't happen in a hospital...
I'm active in Cub Scouts with my stepsons and husband. When camping, I'm the "unofficial" nurse. (Unofficial cause I don't do prehospital care, as I've often told them..)
Went camping at a lovely site in Arkansas this past spring. One of the kids gets hurt. We get an ambulance out to the site to take him to local ER. I guess neighboring campers saw us, and decided we had a first aid kit. A little while after the ambulance leaves, a teenage? guy and girl come over to our campsite and ask if we have a bandaid. Their friend has cut his leg.
I go over there........he wants a bandaid after laying open his shin with a machete????!!!!
I tell him I'm going to clean it out with sterile NS, slap a couple 4x4s on it, then he needs to go get it sewn up.
He asks "Will they have to use a needle?"
Anybody know any other method of sewing I missed? We're talking visible bone here....
And it's gotta be something in the South (born and bred, so don't think I'm a Yankee talking bad about Southerners). The guy finally goes to the hospital. Method of transporation? He's sitting in the back of the pick-up truck in a lawn chair sippin a Bud.
By the way.....our Cub Scout and beer swilling machete swinging guy were both fine. Would you believe his tetanus was actually up to date?
While working in LTC I had a little lady with dementia who used to think that practically everyone she saw was one of her family members. She was also quite hard of hearing. One day as she sat in the hallway a CNA wheeled an elderly gentleman past us and she asked me "Is that Henry?" (her long deceased husband). I said "No, that's Earl!" She gave me a very strange look and then when another staff member walked by she pointed at me and said to her "She says my husband's a girl!"
You know you're a nurse when in the middle of cleaning up a huge loose code brown, you say out loud " I have to get brownie mix when I get off work!"
You know you're a nurse when you do the happy pee-pee dance when your patient finally voids
You know you're a nurse when you have perfected the art of only going to the bathroom once during your shift and praying that you don't get a UTI.
You know you're a nurse when you consider coffee one of the important food groups!
I've worked about 4 night shifts now. I am a new grad and just got off orientation. So far, it's been alright, but there have definitely been some struggles. While I haven't had a really hard time sleeping during the day, it is just so weird. And I still have this feeling of guilt while my family and friends are up doing things during the day and I'm sleeping. I know I have to, but I just feel like sometimes they think I'm being lazy....I live at home with my parents right now because I just graduated from college and moved for a job. My days off are a little weird too. First day off I usually sleep till about 4-5 if I get to bed by 9-10. Then I usually go to bed that night at 1-2 and wake up sometime late morning the next day. I have found that I need some daylight and being up during the day to not be miserable (SOCIAL INTERACTION). You'd think being 22 all of my friends would be up at night and want to do things, but it's been the exact opposite. Youtube videos and TV OnDemand has been my best friend. The day before I go back to work I take a nap in the afternoon then try to stay up as late as I can that night. Usually 3-4 and sleep till between 2-4. Seems like a long time, but my body just needs more sleep working on nights.
This is a CNA story but it was so funny at the time
Ill never forget the time my CNA was showering a female patient. She took her to the shower and the next thing I know she steps out the door white as a sheet she said ..."UH hello nursie down there...UH denise come here please, we have to have a talk".. I thought the lady was dead or something.. I go down there and she says..."The next time i am about to shower a female with a penis will you please tell me before hand"....I said "WHAT" . The lady had a prolapsed uterus and her cervix was hanging out...
I just received my results from Pearson Vue and I PASSED! Thanks Everyone for the encouragement! Now I can do the HAPPY DANCE!
*On Dementia ward* THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
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