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A little perspective

Posted

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management. Has 14 years experience.

Today my region was inundated with multiple freak traffic accidents. Two of the accidents involved semi trucks that had overturned and burst into flames. My hospital received many of the victims.

The charge nurse that was relieving me tonight was an hour and a half late getting to work because of the detours resulting from one of the accidents. She came in flustered, apologetic, and ranting about how bad the traffic was. When I told her that our hospital was treating many of the victims, and that we were still on standby for trauma surgery, she became quiet. Then she said, "Canes, I need to readjust my perspective. I need to think about these patients and their families instead of how flustered the damned traffic made me."

A little perspective goes a long way. I am asking you guys-the AN members-to keep these victims in your thoughts as you go about your day today. I know that you don't know them, and I realize it doesn't affect you. But this tragedy was a big wake up call for me as a nurse. I will not complain about my day today, even though it was the Seventh Level of Hell. I am healthy, my family members are healthy, and I am not the doc that had to tell these family members that their loved ones are in serious condition. I still don't know how these trauma docs do what they do from day to day. It must be exhausting for them mentally and physically.

My thoughts and prayers go out to these victims, families, and the doctors and nurses that had to care for them. We were overloaded with tragedy today, and I am thankful that we had such skilled health care providers to take care of the victims of this awful tragedy.

I won't be complaining for a while.

eriksoln, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, Travel Nursing, Pulmonary. Has 15 years experience.

Actually, just wanted to point out, hell has 15 levels.

Hope all goes well for the accident victims. Things like this have a way of refocusing everyone and in an odd way help. Not that I would desire it to happen for that but......................

canesdukegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management. Has 14 years experience.

Thanks for the correction, Erik! I had no idea that Hell had so many levels. Thank goodness I only entered Hell halfway.

This tragedy reminded me so much of Katrina. When I was deployed there, I was shocked by the level of tragedy I faced. It was IN MY FACE. I could not comprehend the level of loss these people faced. New Orleans is from where I reign. To see my own people in such heartbreaking conditions was almost more than I could bear.

I was absolutely focused on these patients today. And yes, my perspective changed AGAIN.

A reality check is sometimes in order. Today's events were my reality check. I am so grateful for the simplest things in life as I lay my head down tonight.

JeneraterRN

Specializes in OB, Med/Surg, Ortho, ICU. Has 3 years experience.

It's easy to get caught up in one's own personal drama without seeing the struggles of those all around. Hopefully, none of the victims heard her rant about traffic. There was an occasion where we had to have the victim of a drunk driver and the drunk driver in our two bay trauma room together. The poor woman had to listen to him rant about the damage to his car and the possible loss of his license without a single remark about her well-being. The victims will be in my thoughts and prayers tonight, and you as well, Canes.

I don't work in a hospital, I work in a LTC care facility as a CNA - but, I often step back after complaining of the massive amount of work that is given to me and remind myself that I could be on the other end of it. I am thankful that I have working legs to be able to run back and forth like a crazy woman to be able to take care of these people. I am thankful that I remember my own name, thankful that I remember who my kids are are, thankful that I know how to still eat with a spoon and a fork. Makes ya think a little....

eriksoln, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, Travel Nursing, Pulmonary. Has 15 years experience.

It's easy to get caught up in one's own personal drama without seeing the struggles of those all around. Hopefully, none of the victims heard her rant about traffic. There was an occasion where we had to have the victim of a drunk driver and the drunk driver in our two bay trauma room together. The poor woman had to listen to him rant about the damage to his car and the possible loss of his license without a single remark about her well-being. The victims will be in my thoughts and prayers tonight, and you as well, Canes.

Ewww.........thats all I can say...........ewwww.

Once worked on a unit that had rival gang member's leaders on the unit at the same time. Yep, each was there with injuries from the other gang's members attacking them. Cops showed up and told us..........."Ummmm......do you realize what is going on here?". We didn't, but it got fixed. One got sent to another hospital, no staff were aware of where.

JeneraterRN

Specializes in OB, Med/Surg, Ortho, ICU. Has 3 years experience.

Ewww.........thats all I can say...........ewwww.

Once worked on a unit that had rival gang member's leaders on the unit at the same time. Yep, each was there with injuries from the other gang's members attacking them. Cops showed up and told us..........."Ummmm......do you realize what is going on here?". We didn't, but it got fixed. One got sent to another hospital, no staff were aware of where.

Yikes! That would have been spooky. Unfortunately, there was no way to split them up. We've a small ED, and we service the surrounding 80 miles. I guess I was telling the story to illustrate the point that some walk around with blinders on. Glad you were able to fix your situation.

There was an occasion where we had to have the victim of a drunk driver and the drunk driver in our two bay trauma room together. The poor woman had to listen to him rant about the damage to his car and the possible loss of his license without a single remark about her well-being. The victims will be in my thoughts and prayers tonight, and you as well, Canes.

Disgusting. This authenticates my cynical perspective that some human beings are deplorable garbage. I just cannot see the good in people like that.

Disgusting. This authenticates my cynical perspective that some human beings are deplorable garbage. I just cannot see the good in people like that.

EVERYONE has a purpose in this life, even if only to set a bad example.

BOOYARN

Has 8 years experience.

i wont complain today! but just today!!!! , my thoughts are with your patients..... and some of mine... not all of them lol

canesdukegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management. Has 14 years experience.

I just found out today that the truck driver was drunk, high, and had meth in the truck. He plowed into 3 cars because he didn't yield to slowing traffic. All 3 drivers were killed. 4 others were injured, but are recovering well.

Guess what kind of injuries the truck driver sustained? Go ahead-guess!

I'm going to go with none because life sometimes has a twisted sense of justice.

ETA: Minor lacerations?

I just found out today that the truck driver was drunk, high, and had meth in the truck. He plowed into 3 cars because he didn't yield to slowing traffic. All 3 drivers were killed. 4 others were injured, but are recovering well.

Guess what kind of injuries the truck driver sustained? Go ahead-guess!

I just don't wanna'....Too depressing......

EVERYONE has a purpose in this life, even if only to set a bad example.

Funny, I never thought to look at it that way, but that creates a positive outlook where I saw none. :up:

hecallsmeDuchess

Specializes in LTC, Acute care. Has 6 years experience.

I just found out today that the truck driver was drunk, high, and had meth in the truck. He plowed into 3 cars because he didn't yield to slowing traffic. All 3 drivers were killed. 4 others were injured, but are recovering well.

Guess what kind of injuries the truck driver sustained? Go ahead-guess!

I will be guessing that nothing happened to him. Makes one wonder sometimes, really does.

My thoughts are with you and the grieving families...

canesdukegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management. Has 14 years experience.

Not. One. Scratch.

Not. One. Scratch.

Disgusting. 3 bad examples i.e. 3 coffins (or whatever the number was).

ETA: These people had family who loved them. I feel nothing but controlled contempt for people like this.

canesdukegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management. Has 14 years experience.

It was heartbreaking to see the carnage that resulted from this impaired driver.

Thanks for the sentiments, y'all. It is so hard to deal with tragedy at this level. I appreciate your kind words and your thoughtfulness in responding to me.

Disasters like these make me pause and be thankful that I have the important things in life: my health, my work, my mind, my dog and my husband.