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Another clinical day

Specializes in ICU.

Yesterday was another day at our facility. Another long clinical day. We got there early in the morning and it was busy. The residents were coming back from breakfast, and since the weather has turned much colder, they are all very cold. Most were in their rooms shivering turning their heat up to about 85. I was sweating. But, I managed to get most tucked back into their beds and bring them what they needed. Some were getting showers and I assisted with those, some just wanted someone to sit with them for a few so they could chat. The residents at my facility really appreciate the students as it gives them someone to visit with during the day. I noticed lots of family members visiting yesterday which made my heart feel good. They are so proud of their children still and would say hey my daughter came to visit me today!! It made my heart happy to see them so happy.

I had a situation that touched me the most and I honestly will never forget it as long as I live. We have a husband/wife couple who live in the same room. I haven't had the chance until yesterday to work with them, and I was helping the CNA yesterday get her stuff done and we needed to get this lady taken care of. She is a diabetic in CHF, and just has a ton of issues. She is not very with it anymore, but does have some clear moments. We brought her back after breakfast and her husbands face just lit up. He looked at her just the same as he probably did when he married her. He instructed me where to put her wheelchair. He has an easy chair in the room and he wanted her parked right in front of him. I parked her and made sure everything was ok, and as I left the room he was patting her on the back saying continually, I love you, I love you. I honestly had tears in my eyes as I left that room.

Then she was ready to rest. She is a hoyer lift and I helped the CNA with that. We got her into bed and changed her brief. We got her covered up and made sure she was comfortable. She told us she was. The husband watched lovingly the entire time and also to ensure his wife was ok. It was just the right amount of loving and protectiveness. They have pictures of the two of them and their family all over the room. I could see how happy of a marriage they have. I honestly was a little envious of it. As my own marriage was not happy and failed, I genuinely wished for that for myself.

At dinner time, it was time for me to do the glucometer reading and administer insulin. We got the husband ready for dinner and he went down, but not before telling me to bring her to him as soon as we were done. I promised I would. He had gotten her ready for dinner as much as he could. She wears a type of bib. I could tell someone had made them for her. He had put it around her and they were both just sitting there waiting on us.

I checked her blood sugar. It was very high. I assessed her for symptoms of hyperglycemia. She was ok and I administered the insulin. But before I even documented a thing, I made sure I took her to her husband in the dining room. My instructor was ok with that. When I wheeled her into the dining room, his face again lit up. I told her we were going to see her husband and she smiled for the first time all day. I wheeled her up to the table, he got her drinks ready for her and helped her drink. I smiled at him and told him to enjoy his evening. He looked at me and gave me a genuine thank you for taking such good care of her. It made tears again fill my eyes.

The way this gentleman just wanted to take care of her made me happy. He did not at all seem burdened or put out. And I think what got to me the most was the way his entire face lit up when she entered the room. She was probably at her worst but he still looked at her like she was a teenage girl. I looked at their pictures and was imagining what their life had been like in the 40's. They looked so happy. I imagined he took the in sickness and in health vow very seriously when he married her. I thought maybe someday I will have that.

I'm learning a lot in clinicals and it's not just nursing things. It's people things too. I've been around every type of people and sometimes I think I'm a bit cynical of people and life in general. Especially when it comes to love as I have been unlucky in that area. I don't have any regrets in my life, just maybe wishing sometimes things had turned out a bit different. I did though learn a valuable life lesson yesterday and it's maybe to have a little more faith in my fellow man and in love in general.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

amen

Like traveling to other regions of the country or around the world, just the journey of life teaches us more about ourselves than about others.

SeattleJess

Specializes in None yet..

Heathermaizey, how beautiful a story and how beautiful that you took the time to share the details. You DO call the shots; you've just given me a little shot of happiness, energy and motivation to get me through the next three weeks 'til the end of the quarter. Thank you.

That is so sweet!!! Thank you for sharing it with us!!

TheNGTKingRN

Specializes in General Surgery.

Get me some Zofran 4mg IV push ... STAT

Having the honor to witness such a beautiful relationship is a gift. Because of what we do, we see these types of relationships very rarely but there are some out there. Usually we see more abusive or one-sided relationships more often. I may go a little off subject here, but I love music and an old song written by Carole King "Only Love is Real" came to mind when I read this. Life can be so very complicated, sometimes we get so wrapped up in all the busyness that we forget the things that truly matter to us and to others. I have seen this type of love a few times and mostly it was with an older couple. The first time I became aware of this type of love was with my first nursing home experience. An elderly couple who were both admitted to the sub acute unit at the same time, she for medical reasons, he due to a fall. They had been married for 60 years. The nursing home was a facility that had step down from sub acute to LTC and ALF all in one facility. When it came time for the couple to be discharged, the male was discharged first and the woman took longer to recover----they had been separated due to this and it was unbearable. The LTC unit kept complaining that he was not appropriate for their unit, he became very angry and beligerant. He just missed his wife. The facility was not encouraging and there was some resistance for this couple to be reunited. Someone had even said that "he might hurt her". I was the one who spoke up and made an issue of them being together for so very long and how would you feel if the person you loved for 60 some years had been separated from you??? It made him feel powerless. Thankfully, she did recover. The management was willing to "bend their rules" for this couple and allowed them to room together in LTC. It made a huge difference in him and her. She continued to get better, he became very calm and cooperative. They just needed each other. It was so very beautiful to see this kind of deep love, and something that is so very rare in our world of today. I remember entering their room one day and he was holding her in his arms, it was so very special. Thank you Heathermaizey for sharing your story with us. True love is very hard to find, sometimes we settle for what is best at that time, and sometimes there is a reason why that does not work for very long. Do not give up, your time will come and usually it happens when you least expect it.

Just another thought, it does take skills to learn how to nurse people. It takes intuition and a mix of psych/emotional willingness to be able to see the special side of others and give them emotional support in all kinds of situations. It is obvious you have this gift, let it serve you in providing care to your patients. Empathy is something that you have to develop and you already have this.

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency Department.

Heathermaizey, you're learning more than procedures and "calling the shots." You're learning to care for someone as a person and not just as a patient. Something I learned long ago when I was doing EMS and teaching new employees was that while I can teach all the procedures and protocols, I can't teach the human element of things. You're learning the human element of providing care to another person. It matters not if you're a nurse, paramedic, PA, NP, or physician... without the human element, you're nothing more than a very well educated technician (one that excels in technical stuff). You become a healer when you're able to combine the human element with the technical stuff you learn. Your title simply tells others the depth of your technical skill.

Sometimes all the patient needs is just someone to hold their hand, even when we're doing the full-tilt boogie around them to keep them going. No matter how many lines, drips, monitors, drains, and the like is present, even though you're responsible for managing all of it, never forget that the patient needs that human element too. Never forget that. That couple started to teach you that one very important lesson that can never be taught in a classroom or by any instructor.

HeatherMaizey, I loved this. I was fortunate enough to take care of two married couples when I worked as a CNA in long term care. This reminded me of them both.

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