Hi AN community.
"This RN" (haha: throwback from recent post) has noticed a recent uptick in ETOH withdrawal pts and hospitalizations r/t heroin. One, in particular, is really tugging at my heartstrings. To be clear, I am very good at compartmentalization so it's not the patients who are the challenge. I care for them quite clinically and without judgment. That's one of my nursing gifts, as we all have our different ones.
For me, it's the families of these people. We all know the likelihood of reoccurrence is like, WAY UP THERE. How do you like that scientific stat? But I digress... So between SW, and my gentle nudging for the families to take care of themselves too during this time I end up just feeling powerless, which is precisely what the families are...POWERLESS. No amount of daily McDonald's runs for the pt newly downgraded from ICU is going to change the fact that when that person gets discharged they are more than likely going right back to their dealer. And we will see that same family again. Only this time the pt won't be as lucky, because as we know the clinical manifestations tend to get worse every time.
I guess I'm just venting, but what experiences have you all had (good or bad) that have helped you get through cases like this? For reference, I'm a new nurse but have been in pt care for quite a while so I'm not new to family dynamics or hospitals. Thanks. Oh, and just to show I'm not a total softie cause you know those ETOHs be trying to drink their own pee on the regular.