oh my.. where to start
I wish they knew...
That they are not the only patient I have at the moment and more than likely, they are not the most critical.
That I am doing the best I can within the limits of... my profession, my abilities, my resources, and my physician.
That they are responsible for their own actions and/or inactions. I am not here to coddle you. I am here to get you out of your crisis du jour.. that's it.
If you don't want XYZ treatment or medication, you don't have to have it. I could care less. It's your body and your right to refuse. I'll let you know that. You will have to sign a refusal of care form, because if you are a big enough boy or girl to make that decision, you are big enough to take resposibility for it and sign a waiver.
I also wish patients knew and truly, truly understood that medicine is as much art as it is science. We cannot cure everything. We can't make all pain go away. We cannot save everybody every time. We want to. We try our hardest, but we just can't.
I wish patients knew that often with chronic pain or severe injuries, one has to learn to live with a certain amount of pain. It may not be pleasant, it may be hard, but it beats being addicted and doped up without quailty of life.
I wish they knew that you SHOULDN'T always try to save everybody. Your 99yr old, comatose, demented, diabetic, great gradma with CHF, on dialysis, s/p CVA with paralysis does not have any quality of life. Let her go.
I wish they knew that medical resources, particularly the emergency room, should be used prudently. Health care, whether or not you pay out of pocket is not "free".
I wish they knew that I want to get them that warm blanket, that hot meal, that cool drink and that current magazine for their comfort. I don't mean to forget it -- more pressing things come along.. I usually get it sooner or later.
I wish they knew that it isn't the hilton and that those things are not what makes us good or bad. Quality nursing and medical care is.
I wish they knew that I am a good nurse. I work hard FOR THEM. Yeah, I get paid a fair wage, but that's not the only reason I do what I do. I do it because I want to help people.
I wish they knew how hard they sometimes make it to continue to want to help them.