A patient made me cry today - page 3
my skin is really thick. i've seen alot of things between being a nurse and a paramedic. i've seen abuse, neglect and death before. today, i got a patient from the emergency room with a massive... Read More
Jun 3, '09Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 79; Likes: 49You were that poor man's angel that day....May he be at peace.
Jun 3, '09Specialty: Cath Lab, OR, CPHN/SN, ER ; From: US ; Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 1,782; Likes: 617Ok, you've made me cry, and it takes a lot to do that. I probably would have cried during his assessment. Make God let him god in peace and may the person (people) who let that poor man get to that state get what they deserve.
If you ever cry at work, blame it on the hormones. Works if you yell at someone too.
Jun 3, '09Occupation: CNA Specialty: Assisted living ; From: US ; Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 1; Likes: 1Wow...it's horrible how some people are treated You sound like a wonderful nurse. Your patient was lucky to have you.
Jun 3, '09Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in Cardiac/Step-Down, MedSurg, LTC ; From: US ; Joined: Dec '07; Posts: 195; Likes: 99I got misty as well on this issue, and I rarely do that. Thank goodness that this pt. had a nurse like you. It's obvious that he felt some form of love that day, which he hadn't had in awhile.
I don't even know what else to say, I'm just touched by your kindness and caring, and deep down - love. Thanks for sharing.
Jun 3, '09Occupation: Provisioning Specialist Joined: Dec '08; Posts: 13; Likes: 12It breaks my heart to see someone abused like that. In my opinion the piece of flesh (I won't give them credit as being a human being) that abused this poor man needs to pay. I'm not an advocate for cruel and unusual punishment except in cases like this. I admire the way you handled the situation. I'm sure those few hours meant more to him than you will ever know. Good job.
Jun 3, '09Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 1,680; Likes: 1,654you're a good nurse allison. god bless you !
Jun 3, '09Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 4,765; Likes: 2,554Allison, what's going on where you work! You had him AND 7 other patients? And you were still able to give Q1 hour care (turns, mouth care, time, comfort) along with great care to all your other patients....
You are a fantastic nurse!
Jun 3, '09Occupation: agency and other positions held over many years Specialty: Peds, Neuro, Psych,Home Health, Telemetr ; From: AM ; Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 10; Likes: 6Quote from flightnurse2bmy skin is really thick. i've seen alot of things between being a nurse and a paramedic. i've seen abuse, neglect and death before. today, i got a patient from the emergency room with a massive infarct. the report i got never could have prepared me well for this patient. he truly broke my heart.
when he arrived to the floor, i couldn't honestly tell if he was breathing. his gaze was fully deviated, he was contracted to one side, and had incredibly shallow, laborered mouth breathing. i pulled him from the stretcher to the bed, got down to his eye level, held his hand and said "i'm allison, i'm going to be your nurse today." he pulled his hand away from me, completely frightened, and yelped out. i asked him a series of questions, but he had no answers. just a wide eyed, terrified, deviated stare.
he was 88 years old and he looked like he was a survivor from auschwitz. he was so emaciated, he may have weighed 80 pounds soaking wet.... upon assessment, i could actually see his guidewires from his pacemaker bulging through his skin. his skin turgor was so poor and he was so dehydrated that we were unable to place a peripheral line... and after two sticks from me, i gave up. he had been hurt enough.
his body was covered head to toe in bruises, in various stages of healing. they looked like palm prints and hand prints. his skin was totally ecchymotic and he had so many skin tears it took 12 pages of wound photos to document them all. his skin peeled back like the skin on a banana just by touching it... and on his back and his shoulders, a purple hand print that was probably very fresh.
i turned him over to assess his back. he yelped out again. his anus was excoriated and bleeding and was probably the size of an apricot or small plum... it appeared that something was forced in it. he shook in fear and moaned loudly as the CNA and i gave him a good bath, combed his matted hair, put him in a clean gown and applied lotion to soothe his dry skin.
i called the abuse hotline. i never intended to point a finger of blame... but someone had forgotten to treat this man like a human being. social services came and did their own assessment and took lots of photos. he continued to moan, louder and louder. he pulled away everytime we touched him as if we were going to hurt him. what happened apparently was he was at a nursing home until his medicare ran out... but made too much for medicaid, so he had been paying a "caregiver" to see to his needs at home. i didnt see this caregiver.. and i'm glad i didn't.. because i may have said something very bad.
lab called.... his troponin was 17. his infarct had spread to over 4 leads. his BP was dropping and his urine output was 0. i chased the doctor down to the ICU to get a hospice referral and a DNR. i was not about to have to call a code on this man. the least i could have done was to get him a comfortable death. paperwork was signed and hospice came to see the patient and agreed to take him at the end of my shift this evening.
i documented and documented. i turned him every hour, swabbed his mouth, made sure his skin was clean and dry, and went and sat for just a minute by the bed, to make sure he knew that if i he wanted to go, i would be there to sit with him. i didn't want him to die alone, not like that.
the paramedics came to pick him up and bring him to the hospice home. i signed his papers and helped them place him on the stretcher. he just kept moaning, and letting out these yelping noises. i walked them to the elevator and grabbed his hand and said "they are going to take you to the hospice house, so you can be cared for and comforted. it's ok to let go now." his eyes didn't move, but i knew he knew i was there.... because tears started rolling down his cheeks.
and without saying a word for 12 hours, my patient made me cry.
may god bless him. i hope his ending is peaceful and that he is moved on to a much better place than was ever provided to him here. today i remembered why i became a nurse.
This ripped me aprt i sit here now with tears running down my cheeks, i guess even when we think we are hard as stone, someone will always remind us of why we do what we do!
I for one am so glad you where his nurse!!!!!!
Also i am in hopes of the caregiver being reported !!!
Jun 3, '09From: US ; Joined: May '08; Posts: 1; Likes: 4Thanks for sharing from your heart. I am a second year ADN student who returned to school after a first career in the business world and raising a family. I have seen many cases of burn out or nurses who just don't seem to care anymore. At times I feel idealistic in my desire to really care for patients as you did this this man. I am aware that the real world is vastly different than textbooks and what you learn in school. However, I am encouraged to know there are nurses out there like you. I choose to believe there are many more and will consider it an honor to join your ranks one day soon.
Jun 3, '09Joined: Dec '08; Posts: 87; Likes: 93Your compassion drove you to document this mans pain and suffering. Perhaps not only did you help him but I'm sure whoever did this has done it before. Now social services and law enforcement will be able to deal with those who commited such horrific abuse. You've probably helped to break a cycle of abuse.
Your grace and love is a testimony for all of us.
PS. I think it's wonderful that your heart broke and you wept. If we cannot know heartbreak we cannot know joy. Your mother obviously raised you right!
Jun 3, '09From: US ; Joined: Nov '08; Posts: 1,670; Likes: 3,313Quote from leslie :-DMy thoughts are the same as Leslie's. Thank you. ((((((Allison))))))(((allie)))...you gave him a wonderful gift today...
the gift of yourself, of your heart, of your love.
and, even if he's not cognizant of it, the gift of hope.
because of this, he will undoubtedly be tenderly and lovingly cared for, right to the very end.
i can't think of anything more extraordinary.
thank you, sweetheart...
just for being you.:redpinkhe
Jun 3, '09Occupation: Paramedic/LPN Specialty: EMS, ER, GI, PCU/Telemetry ; From: US ; Joined: Jul '07; Posts: 2,287; Likes: 4,694Quote from cardiacRN2006i can't honestly say i gave great care to all my other patients yesterday. i did my assessments, gave them their meds and signed their strips, except for the one lady with dementia that i put in the geri chair in the hallway. i took my computer on wheels out in the hall, grabbed a chart rack and parked myself in front of this man's room, and sat there with the little old lady trying to catch the roosters until she fell asleep, lol. it was my 4th day with most of them so i was pretty familiar with them... if they needed something, they had my portable phone number... i saw them every few hours, but didn't round on them as much as i should have. i really spent the majority of my day with this man. i felt like i needed to be there. i also was working with an awesome CNA, i even bought her lunch--without her, i could not have gotten through yesterday. she cried with me at the end of the day.Allison, what's going on where you work! You had him AND 7 other patients? And you were still able to give Q1 hour care (turns, mouth care, time, comfort) along with great care to all your other patients....
You are a fantastic nurse!
and where i work, in so many words, is a zoo.... but i love it.
i didn't sleep much last night. i watched some funny movies to try and distract myself. i just needed to cry and that i did. i feel better about it now.... but i find it hard to believe the evil that is out there...
Jun 3, '09Occupation: ICU, RN/BSN Specialty: ICU, telemetry ; From: US ; Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 2,115; Likes: 8,405:hugs:
That's one thing about being a nurse. I held a crack baby (and don't get me started, or I'll be crying more than I am now). The only way I could deal with that child, or the abused elderly I've seen is to know that even if it's only for a few hours at the beginning of their life, or a few hours at the end, someone cared about them. Sometimes, that's all you can do.
I watched an interview with a person who'd survived Sobibor (one of the few), and he was asked how he coped. He said something to the effect that while he could not change what happened or what he saw, he could bare witness so that the suffering was not forgotten. That's what you did. You cared about that poor man for a few hours out of his life, and you bore witness to what happened to him. But most, MOST importantly, you stopped it from continuing to happen to him. Unfortunately, I know folks who would have packaged him up and sent him right back to his abuser (assuming he survived his MI with a troponin that high).