A Patient's Perspective - To all of the Nurses at allnurses.com - page 3
To all of the Nurses at AllNurses.com, Of course I should start with some basic background info. I have dealt with Crohn's disease since 1989 when I was 17 years old. I've had some rough times... Read More
Mar 16, '16I really appreciate this "thank you" post. It's nice to know that the non-tasks things that we do mean so much. I'm sorry you have suffered so much with your health. I have taken care of patients like you and ofter wonder how they are doing after they are discharged. I wish you well and thank you for sharing.Last edit by nursecindy66 on Mar 16, '16
Mar 16, '16I am so thankful you agreed to have a nursing student with you. I tell my mother and any one else that I know to take a student if they get the chance because nurses are overworked with high patient ratios. That student wants to do a good job and is there with you all day. Since nursing is my second career and I have had 14 surgeries as an adult I understand what it is like to be in pain waiting to get meds, or needing to go to the restroom but needing someone to come in and help. I know just how good an ice filled Diet Coke can taste! I know the reasoning behind waking you up at 1 am to take blood but I don't always agree because I can never sleep in hospitals so when I finally do get to sleep, the last thing I want or need is to be woken up. I understand that some nurses are burned out or are having a bad day but I don't always understand their attitudes. I love being a nurse. I love helping my clients. Sometimes I am so busy I can't spend as much time with them as I would like but I always take a moment to speak to them even if I am just running into their room to do some little thing. I am so glad you had someone to hold your hand. I know how scary it can be not knowing what is going to happen or if you are going to get better.
As as far as the Crohns goes. My brother has it too. He is doing well controlling his with his diet. He went low carb, high fat. Basically Paleo. By cutting out sugar, bad oils and processed foods, he has cut his attacks out almost completely. I am an endoscopy nurse so I advise my clients to try cutting out all sugar from their diets and see if that helps. Most report a lessening of symptoms. If you haven't tried that yet, you might give it a try.
Mar 16, '16Dear MA patient, Thank you SO MUCH for writing this!!! YOU are why I became a nurse. It is SO rare for anyone to say "thank you", let alone to say all that you did! After 25+ years at the bedside, sometimes I feel like giving up. Today YOU made it all worthwhile! God bless you!!
Mar 16, '16Having been a patient a couple of times in my life...family also have been patients...retired RN a couple of years ago...your words brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so very much!
Mar 16, '16Thank you for this. After nearly 20 years as a nurse I've left bedside care but am also thinking about leaving the field altogether. Thank you.
Mar 16, '16My belief in this is that if nurses voice a desire to leave the bedside, they should. Not every nurse is cut out for that role, but it doesn't mean they can't still be excellent nurses. Every nurse should explore and find their niche (if possible) so that they may do their best work. I left the bedside to be an Oncology Nurse Navigator, care coordinator...and never looked back.
Mar 16, '16AnonBoston, I could have been that nursing student who stayed with you during your drain placement. I'm a second-career nurse and the mom of a man whose life has been one serious health challenge after another. I made a conscious decision to become a nurse because of the excellent care we'd received from excellent nurses over the years. When I was on clinical one day, my assigned patient was a 20 year old woman, newly diagnosed with lupus; she was about the same age as my sister. In report we heard that this patient was "needy" which often is code for whiny and demanding. This young woman had never been sick a day in her life before. She was scheduled for a renal biopsy that day and it didn't take a magnifying glass to see she was terrified. I asked her if her mom or dad would be there with her and she said no, nobody could come. I thought about how I would want my sister to be cared for, how I'd want my son to be cared for, and I went with that. Having supported my son through many uncomfortable, or downright painful, situations I knew she needed simple but complete descriptions of what would happen to her, what she would feel and how long it would take. I went with her to radiology for her biopsy; I think there were some annoyed people in the room, but I ignored them. I sat on a stool near her head and out of the way. I kept up a stream of one-sided conversation and offered some distraction and relaxation suggestions while the biopsy was carried out. She flinched at one point as the biopsy needle was engaged, but otherwise managed to remain still and relatively calm. I'm sure she has no memory of me, but I will always remember her.
It costs nothing to be kind. It costs nothing but a few moments of our time to grab a warm blanket or top up a pitcher. Even in our pressure-cooker environment, those small acts of kindness are huge in their impact. In recent years I've found myself on the receiving end more than once, and I so appreciate every little extra my nurses and nursing attendants are able to provide. I'll tell you all something that I'm a little ashamed of, something that had a huge impact on my behaviour. Shortly after my son was born, my mother came to see us in the NICU. She said very little while she watched and listened to my interactions with my son's nurse. But once we'd left the bedside she turned to me and said, "Don't you ever say thank you? That nurse did an awful lot of explaining and helping, and you never once said thank you. I didn't raise you that way." She was absolutely right, and I was mortified. So to this day, nearly 33 years later, I hear her voice in my head EVERY DAY. I never fail to express my gratitude to those who do even the littlest thing to make my life easier. And I believe AnonBoston is doing the same for us here. I think we can all see what my mother saw. That those two little words mean an awful lot. So thank you, all of you, for doing what you do each day - no matter what your role. Your work matters.
Mar 16, '16Dear Patient in MA,
What an honor it must have been to be your nurse for even one shift. The "feels" that you weave in and out throughout your post are like lavender bath salts in a tub of deliciously warm water at the end of a long, grueling shift.
Your reaction to your experience is the reason why nurses strive for those extra interventions that are more than medicine.
Thank you for your insight, it's very touching.
I hope you are finished with this difficult chapter of Crohns.
Mar 16, '16Thank you. I am a student nurse who decided to go back to school (many years later) in a completely different field, wondering what I did to myself when I started nursing school. You just reminded me EXACTLY why I did this to myself.
Mar 16, '16Thank you for writing this, and I wish we nurses had a magic wand that could make everything better.
I recently was hospitalized after a major (elective) surgery, and while my dh was Da Bomb for staying right there with me, when I walked the halls at night d/t insomnia my heart went out to other patients who didn't have a dh to stay with them. It is the nurses who help patients with pain (intensified at night, when loneliness gnaws) endure the long night.
It was the nurses who arranged for me to shower --- OH, BLESSED SHOWER!! -- within an hour of being transferred to the step-down unit (I have long hair and hadn't washed it since surgery, four days prior. Very UGH!!). I know it was two hours before their shift change, and they were busy. But they made it happen.
It was the nurses who let my dh stay in the room (he ended up checking out of the nearby hotel); they smuggled him sandwiches for late-night snacks. He DID help take care of me, tho!!
I have been a nurse over 40 years now, and I am still proud of being a nurse, especially after receiving such excellent care while hospitalized. I hope I am HALF as sharp, smart, skilled and caring as those who took care of me.Last edit by dianah on Mar 16, '16
Mar 16, '16To the "MA patient" and all the nurses out there .... "DITTO"!!!! Thank you! There really isn't anything more that I can add to what "MA Patient" expressed. I have not been patient or have gone through nearly what you have, but last year I had surgery. I had to stay the night. I was feeling good and when I arrived in my room, I had a very young and "perky" nurse who greeted me. She helped getting me situated and I answered her questions. I also told her not to worry about me, I will be fine. I told her to take care of your other patients, I won't be a problem. She also "smiled" and commented that she will be in throughout the night to check on me. I didn't want to be a burden, since I was planning on sleeping through the night and leaving the next morning. Well, that did not happen. I was given soda after surgery when I asked for something to drink. She was surprised they allowed soda. About 9:45pm, I felt as if I was going to be sick to my stomach. I hesitated on pushing the button, but with me not able to get out of bed, I pushed it. She answered and I said "I felt as if I am going to get sick". No sooner she came through the door, I got sick. She was so calm, sweet, and was more concerned about me. I was scare I wasn't expecting that to take place and I didn't want to be a bother to anyone. She started to wrap up the covers and put them on the floor. Then she helped me get into the chair that was next to my bed. She needed to change everything. I felt horrible that I caused her to do something that wasn't pleasant. I wasn't able to move very well, but I helped her change my bed. I was able to remove the sheet from the bed and I asked her for a towel so I could wipe the bed down too. With her being so calm, she made me relax. She changed my bedding, cleaned up everything and helped me back to bed. I apologized and told her I wouldn't bother her again. Her personality was A+. Well, I had to bother her again. Around 1:30am, I woke up due to the IV machine beeping and I began feeling as if I was going to pass out. She heard the machine and came in. I told her that I wasn't feeling well and she noticed I was fanning myself. She took my BP and it dropped drastically. Again, she was calm. She left the room, but came right back and the house supervisor also came in. She started more fluids on me and was by my side for a good hour while my BP came back up. I felt horrible still, as I didn't want to be a bother and here, twice I needed her help. Again, her personality was amazing to this patient who hasn't been a patient for 23 years (the last time I gave birth) ... lol I rested that night and the next morning, she brought in her replacement for the day. I told her also, that I will be going home and she didn't need to worry about me. Well, it happened again! I felt as if I was going to pass out. I had my husband go get her. She came in, took my BP and it dropped even more than the middle of the night that she called the rapid assessment team. Needless to say, I had to stay one more night. The nurses I had were amazing. I didn't want to be a burden, but the were there by my side too! I wrote the CNO a letter indicating that I was lucky to have them as my nurses, but then I said "the hospital was the lucky one" for hiring nurses like them. Keeping a patient calm (this patient) meant the world to me. Thank you - Thank you - Thank you!
I will make a quick comment about my only negative experience with a few surgery nurses. I could hear a group of them talking about me, as I had a few "special" requests. The requests were not outrageous or unattainable, they were normal requests that are asked more than other patients realize. I'm also a very hard stick and yes, I understand that the Pre-op nurses start IV's all the time and probably could do it with their eyes closed and in their sleep! However, my MD personally came over and started it for me, as he draws my labs due to how hard of a stick I am. I didn't appreciate my pre-op nurse telling my MD to lie to me. Telling me that he could not find my vein and she would come in and start the IV. I'm glad he replied "I can handle this IV, I do them on a regular basis". The other situation that I didn't appreciate was when the anesthesiologist was telling me how he wanted me to sit when he started the epidural, etc. My MD was also going to be with me for the epidural and for the surgery. An OR nurses spoke up and said "you will place your head on my shoulders while Dr so and so does the epidural. I said "thank you, but my MD is here for that". If looks could kill, I would be dead. She didn't like that. I apologize if I was stepping on the two nurses toes with having someone who I was very comfortable with to start my IV and be there for me during the epidural and surgery. My point is, just because a patient has a request, doesn't mean they are a problem patient or they don't like you. A patient needs to be comfortable. Someone actually posted that patients are scared and could be in pain. When a patient or anyone is scared, the want something close to them to make them not so scared. When a patient is comfortable and calm, the procedure and recovery is better. I applaud all the nurses out there. Thank you again! Even though the two nurses that had a bit of an attitude before and during surgery, I would still want them as my pre-op nurse and the one during surgery. I'm glad my daughter is in nursing school! She will be in the shadows of many amazing nurses!
Mar 16, '16You are my favorite kind of patient.
i need to say...99% of the heartbreak that drove me away from the bedside came due to the way hospitals are now being run, not because of patients themselves. You deserve our time and attention and we want to give it. Please talk to your elected officials about improving nurse work conditions. Thank you so much for acknowledging us. That feels awesome.