A Phone Call - page 2

She called my name down the hallway. To me, at the other nurses' station. Why she did that, I don't know. I had a phone next to me. She's the unit secretary. Why doesn't she know my extension? ... Read More

  1. 0
    I thought you don't give patients details over a phone - heartwarming or not - ever.

    Hoax calls and all that.

    People do stuff like that.

    You get fired.

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  2. 2

    I wondered a bit myself about this...I have been looking it up. I would say that this falls under point #5 on page 3 of the above...a key phrase being "reasonably sure" I was reasonably sure. Not saying I would do this all the time...but in this instance it worked out...
    herring_RN and nola1202 like this.
  3. 2
    well done!
    herring_RN and SarahLeeRN like this.
  4. 10
    That's a beautiful story. I'll share one of my own, about a little thing that ended up meaning a lot to one woman.

    My patient *was* dying. A long, drawn out decline and a little over five months spent in my department on what was her final admission of many.

    When she first came to us, she was mostly bed-bound, but could get up to a commode with minimal assist, all the with the ever-present oxygen mask (mere nasal prongs weren't enough). Eventually, getting up became too much, and after a couple of months she no longer left her bed at all.

    The prospect of a shower was too much for her to bear. Even when she was getting up, even with our cushy shower chair and portable oxygen, that much movement, humidity, and stress would've been too much for her to handle. She knew it and so did we.

    She got bed baths, of course. And new sheets. She never said so, but I knew it bothered her that she hadn't been able to have more than that.

    I wasn't often her primary nurse, but this day I was. It was a rare uneventful shift, likely a weekend. I brought piles of linens -- extra flannels, soaker pads -- shampoo and two full basins and pitchers of warm water.

    I soaked the heck out of that bed, washing her hair and giving her the wettest bed bath I have ever done. Wrapped her in warm flannels, dried the bed and changed the sheets (while she was in it), lotioned her up, combed her hair, and tucked her in.

    It isn't often I have time to do that, and I felt good about it afterward. The best part was her smile, as she told her husband (the lovely man who visited faithfully three times a day all those five months) how nice and relaxed and happy she felt after her bath.

    So there's a little thing, something that was maybe little in theory but big for her. I still remember the smile on her face, through that plastic mask.

    As much as nursing is about skills and knowledge, it's also about these little things. I'd love to hear more stories.
    Sandyclaus, herring_RN, Ruas61, and 7 others like this.
  5. 2
    Great story, thanks for posting!
    herring_RN and SarahLeeRN like this.
  6. 2
    Such a touching story!!makes me proud and feel great that I am a nurse and that every day, I have the opportunity to touch my patients' life!
    herring_RN and SarahLeeRN like this.
  7. 3
    These are the moments that keep us going when we feel like we could just hang up our stethoscope forever. Heart warming.

    I have one to share too. It was one of my first patient assignments in nursing school, and I will never forget her.

    This happened the week before mother's day. This poor woman had terminal breast cancer, and her doctors had the brilliant idea to do a barium contrast on her to see if there was anything blocking her esophagus. We had spent all morning trying to get her the God-awful barium. She was such a trooper about it too. When they came to get her, I asked my teacher to go with her, and since we still had only one patient, she allowed me to go.
    I sat there with her while they made her wait in her stretcher for over an hour. She told me a little bit about her family, how her daughters lived hours away but were coming over the weekend to see her for Mother's Day, and how much she was looking forward to it. She drifted in and out, and seemed so uncomfortable. I stroked her hair and held her hand the whole time.
    At one point she looked up at me and told me that nurses like me were what helped her be strong and fight. She then fell asleep again. I cried and cried once she closed her eyes.
    When we came back a week later I searched for her frantically to give her a small plushie I had brought in for her for Mother's Day. She unfortunately had passed away that previous Friday, the day before her daughters came. They never got to see her that last time.
    It broke my heart, but still felt amazing to make any kind of difference in her end of life care.
    Sandyclaus, herring_RN, and SarahLeeRN like this.
  8. 2
    Although there are a lot of experiences in the area that are unpleasant; there are still more which makes us feel great that we are nurses!Their stories may break our heart, but make us whole as a person...it was just proven by the stories you've shared!!
    herring_RN and SarahLeeRN like this.
  9. 2
    Thank you for your heartwarming story. This is the true art of nursing. The way you reassured this poor man, so worried about his sister. Its what its all about. Its easy to forget how vunerable it is to be a patient and a family member of a patient. Lots of time MDs and RNs don't offer much communication, which is scary.
    herring_RN and SarahLeeRN like this.
  10. 3
    I'm a bitter, smart-assed, 20 year ICU casualty. Needed this.
    uRNmyway, herring_RN, and SarahLeeRN like this.

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