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TopazLover BSN, RN

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Retired nurse and educator. Widowed and owned by my rescued Whippet.

TopazLover's Latest Activity

  1. TopazLover

    Killer struggles, gasps repeatedly under new 2-drug combination

    I also am against capital punishment. It can't change what happened, it is very expensive, and time consuming to go through all the appeals. It does not deter others. And with that I probably will get flamed, also.
  2. TopazLover

    i'll probably get flamed to the moon and back for this but..

    I went into nursing and felt that was the only path I wanted. Perhaps you could say it was a calling. I loved nursing and, in general loved my patients. I was kind considerate, professional, etc. The bad part about that was I always felt I should know more. It always left me feeling somewhat inadequate, as if compassion meant that I did not have enough skills. You don't need the total passion, perhaps it is better if you don't have that degree, especially as a new nurse. Burnout will be a real issue if you don't change as you grow older. All you have done is waste years. Nursing is special, but it is not the only way to go. Now I do something totally different and love that also. Soon I will be changing again, and I will enjoy that. At this point in my life I think I have learned to enjoy many things and recognize I have many skills. Nursing is one that will remain close to my heart, but I will not return to nursing. I will gladly have someone else take responsibility and I will happily shuffle papers.
  3. TopazLover

    Let's call it "organ support," not life support

    There may be other ways of describing the relationships. I have never heard it described as similar to phantom pain, and I think in many ways it is similar. In a grief group I ran, it was described as if "someone had cut off my right arm". For many couples both feel as though individually they are incomplete without the other. There are many cases where a spouse dies so quickly after losing the partner. Just recently a husband died from what my pastor calls "the old man's friend, pneumonia". While his wife was giving his eulogy she died. Another couple I recall quite well. I cared for both of them. One was quite ill with cancer. The other would sit quietly and hold her hand. The ill one passed away, and 5 days later her partner was dead. This woman had been healthy with few issues until she lost her partner of 50+ years. I lost my soul mate when he had the strokes. We had been together for 28 years. I lost something intangible with his death. Recently I lost the second one in a very similar way. We were not married, had only been together 3 years, and we had a comfortable love. I grieved for him. I have never felt that same sense of loss of self. As nurses we rarely see people at their best. We have a responsibility to be the ones who can ease the path for loved ones when a machine is the only thing keeping this person looking as if he were alive. In both cases where I was the partner, I knew when each man died. It was long before the doctors said anything. I could feel the loss. Some call that the soul leaving the body. I have no name for what I felt. I just knew. Up until that time their lives were being supported by mechanical means. After that I felt they were artificially being kept for no good reason. Whatever one calls that time, it is not close to what the family sees and feels. Nurses can only do their best to present a horrible situation in a way that allows the family to grieve.
  4. TopazLover

    Let's call it "organ support," not life support

    When my DH was brain dead the doctors gave me a choice. In 24 hrs. they would remove all machines (I do not recall exact wording) and allow him to die or, they would move him to a different floor where his ventilator care would be done until his body gave out. As he was no longer making urine, I suppose it is possible it would have happened soon. As it was, he and I had had the discussion many times about what we wanted. I knew he would want all efforts stopped, not moved to someplace where his body would die by inches. It was the non-verbals I remember clearly. The intensivist who no longer considered my husband his problem. The nurses who supported me during those 24 hours, the other intensivist who shared the loss with us and helped to complete the process of allowing him to die rather than be maintained on some sort of horrible organ death watch. Call it anything you want. Remember that someplace around 90% of what is taken in is non-verbals. In times of crisis I think that the number may be low. All we had was empathy from caring staff, and that has no words. It needs no words.
  5. TopazLover

    The Top 10 Things I Loved About Nursing

    Viva, as another retired nurse I agree with all 10. Of course I am old enough to recall white uniforms, sensible white shoes, and caps. I have not stopped being a nurse. I once said to a doctor that I was formerly a nurse. He looked me straight in the eye and informed me that I would always be a nurse, retirement does not change that fact. I agree. One gift I find I appreciate is that I do not get upset by anything medical. Seize in front of me, be it a store or anyplace else, I will calmly get you safe and call 911. Blood shooting out, cover, hold and head to definitive care. I see others who dither and shrink and thank God and all those who helped me along the way to know what to do. More than that. I think, is that nursing is being, not doing. Compassion cannot be taught. Empathy is more than a term on a test. The art of nursing is alive and well, even if the practice of nursing is no longer in play.
  6. TopazLover

    Let's call it "organ support," not life support

    I agree that it is not the words, it is the actions. It is the non-verbals. It is the conversations overheard by family when co-workers talk with each other. Once a person is placed on mechanical support for breathing, the option of a natural death is taken away. Vent pneumonias are common, and they kill. Because the person is getting "organ support" they are not allowed to die when their kidneys fail, when vasopressors fail. The best a family can hope for is that while turning, the patient's heart will give out.
  7. TopazLover

    Let's call it "organ support," not life support

    Mechanical support is what family members see. When they are told it is a temporary measure to mechanically support breathing, and they see a machine, it sinks in. Having dealt with my family members who are not medical in any sense of the word, they understood the explanation. When ventilation is explained to family as life support, it really means without ventilation there is no life. Most people anticipate some form of recovery when they see a vent. Unless you are a nurse, then you may see it as the kiss of death. When initiated would you call it organ support, if the expectation was recovery? As a lay person it would be easy to confuse, and they will ask which organ. I pray I never have to deal with this again in my life time. If I do I do not wish to hear organ support. I don't want my loved one to be considered cadaver, and I do want them respected in every way. Modesty needs to be maintained. Appropriate conversation at the bedside, etc. Being on the other side of the blanket, as it were, being the family member, I saw these things. While they were minor in the whole situation, I knew my loved one would be mortified to have people see him striped naked. Care is needed, and that includes caring about the person who did inhabit that body.
  8. TopazLover

    What would you do in this situation?

    Did something change in the pt. condition to lead to having an RN on day shift? I agree that at this point it is time to change assignments and your manager needs to discuss with the family what the rules are for your company. If they want the services, they have to know the limits. I am not blaming you for the haziness of limits. Night shift nursing in the home is very different than day shift. They are in new territory, also. The parents need to hear from a supervisor that you were doing per policy and that the next nurse would be held to the same standards. If the company takes the side of the parents in a way that is not supportive of you, the employee, start a job search. You will see the same behaviors from the company over and over again.
  9. TopazLover

    Let's call it "organ support," not life support

    As a family member who has gone through this scenario not once, but twice, I like the idea of mechanical support. In both cases of family, they were maintained on vents up to 24 hr. after the possibility of life was gone. Both were organ donors, neither was able to have organs harvested due to infection. It was cruel enough when they would not even harvest for research. To compound that horrible time by claiming it is to support organs is not helpful to family members. One of the purposes of that 24 hr. rule is not just hospital policy. It allows the family to say goodbye in different ways. To lose loved ones on vents is very different than losing them with what I would call a natural death. Even though I knew neither I, nor anyone else, was "pulling the plug" there still was that wishful thinking. It really is life support, even though the brain is dead. Some cells are still living and to deny that by calling it anything but life cheapens that life even more. In general, people are not on "life support" measures because they want to be. In both of the family cases it was the exact opposite of what they wanted. Unfortunately, when ventilation is begun for a person who is expected to survive, it is tough to just stop. I wanted to honor their wishes. These wishes were over ruled when the legalities became involved.
  10. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/02/sanaz-nezami-iranian-dies-us-hospital-online-laptop_n_4532547.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009&ir=Religion A nurse in a Michigan hospital kissed the patient's forehead. More than 6,000 miles away, Sanaz Nezami's family in Iran watched the simple act over a laptop computer and wept. Nezami, a vibrant 27-year-old woman who could speak three languages, wanted to pursue an advanced degree in engineering at Michigan Technological University. Instead, she was brain dead just a few weeks after unpacking her bags in a remote area of the United States, a victim of a fatal beating by her new husband, according to police. --- The family's faith in the staff led to consent for an extraordinary donation: Nezami's heart, lungs and other life-saving organs were transplanted to seven people in the U.S., a remarkable gift that occurs in less than 1 percent of all cases. In praise of all nurses who share so much of their hearts that even a grief filled family 6,000 miles away chose to give the gift of life to others in a foreign land.
  11. TopazLover

    Confessions of a Hospital Administrator

    Thank you for a great article. My recent experiences as a family member and friend of patients in two hospitals run by the same organization tell me, as a retired nurse, that your message has a long way to go to get to all CEOs. How can the environment be changed so that compensation for CEOs, CFOs, and others with similar titles is more in line with the workers. Yes, nurses are the backbone of any hospital. They need excellent service workers: Environmental, Nutrition, etc. With current executive salaries so far from the pay of nurses and ancillary workers there will continue to be the "us and them" attitude rather than a team working together. I really feel like we need to clean house of all those CEOs whose compensation is greater than 5 times the beginning RN pay. I am willing to think of other criteria for compensation. I do not believe any bonuses should go to CEOs until every employee gets the same percent bonus. A job well done deserves a bonus, if possible. The job is a team effort therefore the rewards need to be shared.
  12. Merry Christmas, a bit late, but I figure I still can say it until Jan. 6th. This is great. So on target for all nurses. Thanks.
  13. TopazLover

    November 2013 Caption Contest: Win $100!

    This is my doctor. He told me not to get a tattoo because I could get an infection. I said most infections come from hospitals. I want a tattoo of a cup of coffee. I always need more for those 12 hour shifts.
  14. TopazLover

    August 2013 Caption Contest: Win $100!

    "I don't care that you were up studying for the pharmacology test all night. Students still cannot bring coffee to clinical floors."
  15. TopazLover

    Personal Legal issues. How can it effect my RN license?

    We cannot give legal advice. Get to that lawyer. Ask those same questions and many more. Domestic violence in any form is taken very seriously by any prospective employer (and I will not touch how any BON treats it). Also clarify what it would mean if your case were dismissed after following court ordered anything. A good lawyer is worth a lot in any case.
  16. if you are new to this site you will find many people with many belief systems and many opinions. Some people are confrontational, others not so. I look at the posts as an education for me into humans and their inter beings. What you perceive as negativity may be a jolting way of trying to figure out the whys. Why would some think sharing faith is right while others find it to be wrong. I have not taken it as negativity towards any religion, Christianity in particular. We do not have huge amounts of posters who are not Jewish, Christian, agnostic or atheist. i would welcome more input from other religions. Baha'i, Islam, and other religions are rarely shared here. I wish more would share. Knowledge of other religions is very helpful to all nurses. I don't think I would want to see any religion boxed in. Who would gain more knowledge that would help them to understand others? One of the best reasons I see for the forums we have and also one of the tools nurses need, to be able to deal with all people one is asked to care for.