Nurses and Stink Bugs???
How does the Good Samaritan parable relate to stink bugs, nurses and the future of nurses? Read on.....
Nurses and Stink Bugs??? Just Stay With Me Here...
Tonight I read my kids a story about a bug who got mugged, robbed, beat up and left for dead on the side of the road. So far sounds like a lovely kids story right?? In the book, a group of ants come along and march right around the distressed bug and said they had no time to stop and help. Next comes several pretty butterflies who just can not help because they might get dirty...so they bless his heart and fly away. Last comes a stink bug....full of stink but actually stops to help the bug. He picks him up, feeds him, cares for his wounds and takes him to the bug hospital. This is the story of the Good Samaritan and how help comes from some of the most unlikely people.
How does this relate to the profession of nursing? There are a number of reasons that men and women choose a career in nursing. Whether it be job security, the flexibility of the work schedule, steady pay, the wide variety of options in the nursing job market etc. While these things have remained pretty steady over the decades, nursing as a choice of profession has declined. We are at an all time low in clinical staffing. This is due to a number of factors, however, there are fewer students entering nursing schools than ever before.
It makes me think of why I chose nursing. I am one of those people who just always felt nursing was a "fit" for my personality and strengths. Moreover, I am one of those "Good Samaritan stink bugs" that has to stop and help...all the time! Don't get me wrong...#1 I am no saint as my family and friends can attest to, #2 I often do not think through a situation before I stop to help which can be a problem at times. Good example being the large turtle crossing the road doomed to be run over. I stopped and carefully picked him up. I did think enough to grab him toward his back end, more because I was afraid of him, but in any event that nasty creature proceeded to hiss at me and tried to bite me! So I found a large stick to bait his snapping instinct with while I used my foot to push him into the field. Nasty little creature was not appreciative, but it was better than dead...right? While my daughter thought I was some kind of hero, my husband had other thoughts. (At least once a week, I have to sustain a lecture on my lack of "think-things through-ness" and unsafe practices) I can't help it, I just have the instinct that when someone or something needs to be helped, that I have been put in that spot to help. What I have noticed , and part of why I always stop to help, is the lack of others offering to assist. I have two examples of this....the dreaded school pick up line. Several times a year, someone's car battery dies while waiting the excessive length of time needed to get their child. As I sit near the end of the line (because, I am a last minute Lucy), I can't figure out why it is taking so much longer this day than others. Then I reach the problem spot of the dead battery. Crazy thing to me is that EVERYONE passes this car, makes extra effort to go around creating more traffic and hazards for the kids and cars. It takes 2 minutes to jump start the car. So everytime, I make school people stop the traffic so I can swing around...embarrass my middle schooler..and jump start the car to clear traffic and help a guy out. Why did no one stop to help?? Two minutes of time saves everyone time and effort and is just a nice thing to do.
Second example, I am trying to turn right at a light and the traffic is insane. I hear a loud bang and see an air conditioner fall out of the back of the bed of a truck. By luck, the guy immediately behind him stops without getting hit or hitting the air conditioner. This causes a big traffic back up. The person behind the air conditioner can not get out of his vehicle because traffic is whizzing by on his left. Here I am...able to help. I get the guys attention and I proceed to pull this very heavy machine to the side of the road so traffic can pass. Did I forget to mention how much bruit strength I have!?! Anyway, just as I get the air conditioner to the side of the road, the vehicle that I just helped hits the gas and takes off. He leaves me in a very unsafe position in the road where the cars that were behind him can not see me as they move forward! Can you believe that? I helped and he could not be bothered to either say thank you or better yet, make sure that I was ok. What is wrong with some people??!
Given what you have just read, you can imagine what I do for car accidents, hurt children on the playground, abuse or neglect, or another funny story, escaped horse running down road ....When i tell these stories, people always give me the "you are crazy?!" face. My response to this is always, "How do you not help?"
As I read and experience the decline in the number of professional nurses, I can't help but wonder if our society's lack of "stop-and-help" is part of the problem. Have we become numb to others in need? Is there too much liability and blame for helping when something bad happens despite best efforts? Are we gearing our next generations toward caring for yourself and your needs before those of others?
I want to conclude with another awesome story, that speaks volumes about the character of nurses. While picking up our oldest child from kindergarten, years ago, I literally drove up to an accident occurring. As I heard the crash, I saw a car flipping through the air at least a hundred feet high. Little did I know when I slammed my van into park, to get out to help even before the car hit the ground, that the driver had been thrown from his vehicle landing about 12 feet in front of my stopped car. I would have run him over had I not stopped when I did. Anyway, he obviously was in critical condition. Drug paraphernalia was scattered all over the road from his vehicle as he lay there bleeding out and not breathing. As I ran back to my van to tell my little kids that I needed to help and to get some gloves etc, I see 3 familiar faces running to the badly damaged cars. Three ER nurses that I worked with at the hospital (I was a critical care nurse at that time), were running to help. What a wonderful testament to our profession. All four of us who stopped to help were nurses. We seamlessly worked together to stabilize these people and keep the passing traffic safe. I will never forget that day and I hope every time my kids see these "crazy stunts" of mine that they don't forget either.
We need more stink bug Samaritans in this world. Nursing needs more stink bugs there to care for our aging population, as well as our children, our community and society as a whole. How much better would we all be if there were more stink bug Samaritans around to help us out when we need it!Last edit by Joe V on Jun 14
My name is Sarah Matacale RN, BSN, CCS, CDI. I am a self proclaimed stink bug hoping to raise the next generation of stink bugs!
Joined: Jan '17; Posts: 41; Likes: 299
from NC , USApr 21Good for you. I have no time for people who would not stop to help a turtle cross the road and I'm glad to hear that you do the same thing I do.Apr 21You sound like a wonderful person and not crazy at all. If the things you do or did were crazy then call me crazy too because I am one of those people and a retired RN. Always rescued animals when younger and then some and then became a nurse. We do these things because we care. That's why we became nurses. It is a calling.Apr 23Empathetic mind, caring heart and healing hands are what you've got to do the things you do. That is the reason you are what you are. Bravo.Apr 29I love this article on the stink bug nurse. I have done many of the same things you have done as well. Like you, I also thought of how the patient was, or how much help was needed, and even assisted a Physician who was already on the scene of a multi vehicle accident. It feels so good to help others, and to have the training and the knowledge to perform the needed tasks to help them.Apr 29I still remember the day of my nursing school pinning ceremony. I was on the metro, and watching a father engaged with his daughter (talking to each other, pointing at stuff out the window, etc). He gave her an apple to eat. Then she started choking. It was surreal. He pushed her into the aisle and asked for help. Myself and another woman helped (I don't think I was close to the "proper" way to do the abdominal thrust), and she coughed up the piece of apple. It sticks with me because I was admiring how they were doing "everything right" (healthy foods, engaged in conversation) and yet she could have died in a minute.
Sometimes I put myself "out there" to help people. But, nothing really sticks with me like that day.
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