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rainbows and unicorns

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amid all the frustrations, i thought it might be cool to have a topic about positive things that happen at work. it can be anything, from big to small.

what happened at work today that was good? was there a bright spot in the whirling sea of c-diff and paperwork? :p

mine yesterday was having a patient who was listening to swing music in her room. (i LOVE swing dancing so i was all nerding out here.) we talked about music while i did her treatments and she wasn't familiar with much electro-swing at all, so i recommended some youtube playlists. after lunch she was listening to it and was like 'this is great; i had no idea!' double yay because i made someone happy with awesome new music, and her room was right near the nurses' desk so i got to listen to it while i charted. :D

anyone else? :)

chiandre

Specializes in EDUCATION;HOMECARE;MATERNAL-CHILD; PSYCH. Has 25 years experience.

what happened at work today that was good? was there a bright spot in the whirling sea of c-diff and paperwork?

Last two weeks, I was window shopping with my sister, my best friend and a co-worker. We stopped to get ice cream from an ice cream truck. The woman selling the ice cream was excited to see us. This was very unusual in NYC! Since she was speaking in Spanish, my sister (who is very fluent in Spanish) started interpreting.

The woman was saying thank you to me for being her nurse 18 years ago when she came to deliver her son. She took out a picture and showed us a young and handsome man. According to her, the son is starting college this fall. Apparently, she remembered me because of my laugh. She even named the hospital, the unit and the date. I did not remember this woman, but it warmed my heart how we become part of our patients' lives, and how they remember us (even though we do not remember them anymore). I felt like a superstar. She introduced me to several people around. I got tons of hugs, blessings and thank-yous. I was humbled! I thanked her for everything. It was a day that reminded me why I BECAME A NURSE.

By the way, we did not have to pay for the ice cream too!

Swellz

Specializes in oncology, MS/tele/stepdown. Has 6 years experience.

My patients I got back were actually happy to see me. I'm on nights right now and end up waking them up for vitals, meds, and turns, so them wanting to see me is an accomplishment in my book.

After finishing up my duties and chatting with my patient, I stepped out of the room. I realized I forgot something in the room, so I went back in a minute later. The patient had his eyes closed but opened them upon hearing me enter. He said, "I was just saying a prayer for you." I thought, here is this sick man, stuck in the hospital, and yet he is thinking of me. How selfless. Another time I had a teenage patient who was in as a OD make me a really sweet pencil-drawn card. He appreciated that I had spent the time to listen to him and discuss his choices and future. Most OD patients are in no mood or just don't want to hear it, but this kid was really receptive and it seemed he truly wanted to change his life. I'll keep it forever. I've thought about keeping a personal nursing journal to keep mementos and remember moments in my career like these by.

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

Back at the beginning of the summer, I admitted an 18 y/o young lady who had had a freak accident at her own graduation party. It was a penetrating head trauma, and she was very fortunate and was neuro intact this whole time and she ended up going to the floor the next day.

Early that morning, I was showing her dad how to get to the cafeteria since my hospital is big and confusing (several attached buildings, several elevators). As we were walking down the hall, he said "Thanks for everything. C was saying she was really glad you were her nurse last night." Made me feel good :)

I had a 44 YO early onset Alzheimer patient, non-verbal, ambulatory. She never once had facial expressions of pleasure or pain--she could barely swallow. She was almost all gone except for being able to walk (supervised).

One day, an outside organization brought in small baby farm animals--goats, sheep, bunnies--and the pt. rose from her chair and walked over to them, stroked them and petted them, and smiled and laughed.

She had light that day. She laughed and smiled and pet those animals for a good half hour. It was pure joy to witness.

I had a 44 YO early onset Alzheimer patient, non-verbal, ambulatory. She never once had facial expressions of pleasure or pain--she could barely swallow. She was almost all gone except for being able to walk (supervised).

One day, an outside organization brought in small baby farm animals--goats, sheep, bunnies--and the pt. rose from her chair and walked over to them, stroked them and petted them, and smiled and laughed.

She had light that day. She laughed and smiled and pet those animals for a good half hour. It was pure joy to witness.

I love this story....reminds us that we are privileged to witness some amazing moments as nurses.

SeattleJess

Specializes in None yet..

I had a 44 YO early onset Alzheimer patient, non-verbal, ambulatory. She never once had facial expressions of pleasure or pain--she could barely swallow. She was almost all gone except for being able to walk (supervised).

One day, an outside organization brought in small baby farm animals--goats, sheep, bunnies--and the pt. rose from her chair and walked over to them, stroked them and petted them, and smiled and laughed.

She had light that day. She laughed and smiled and pet those animals for a good half hour. It was pure joy to witness.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this amazing idea! We could do this at my local SNF.

Here's to spreading the light.

I had a patient a few weeks ago who really should have been on the floor but they were dragging their feet getting him transferred out of the ICU.

I had to take him down to dialysis and he had a lot of anxiety and probably some neuo deficits from cardiac arrest, but for the most part he was alert and oriented, just very child like. So I drop him off, get him set up, and held his hand to tell him I'll be back to get him in a few hours and he squeezed my hand and wouldn't let go. It was super sweet, and I knew that me being there alleviated just a little bit of his anxiety.

It's the little things every now and then that remind me why I became a nurse.

Had the sweetest teenage boy last night, just a total doll. I love teenage patients. Seeing kids becoming young men and women, it's so great when you see it going well!

That Guy, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab. Has 6 years experience.

Someone said thank you in the ER.

MrChicagoRN, RN

Specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care. Has 30 years experience.

When an agitated patient, threatening severe physical violence, receives emergency meds and possibly restraints; comes up on his own (hours later or the next day) and delivers a sincere, spontaneous apology for the loss of control.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 44 years experience.

I was admitting a 4 month old from the OR after her second surgery for single-ventricle physiology. I talk to myself as a means of organizing my thoughts- after letting my families know this! I was getting her all tucked in, checking the SIX drips she was on, vent settings, drains etc, etc.

Mom says to me, "I almost cried when they told me you'd be her nurse tonight. I think I might even go sleep off the unit."

Mom said to her sister "It is so reassuring to me that Mary says all the things she's thinking out loud. It makes me feel so much better that she is paying attention to it all and getting her game plan in place."

had a 94 year old pt last week - completely AOx3 and ambulatory (and stubborn as an ox) who kept getting up to go to the bathroom without ringing...I (jokingly) threatened to put the bed alarm to the call bell - she said to me "ok, I'll ring -you're too nice to not listen to". She also said "love you" every time I left the room.

As I always assert, I'm not a 'calling' nurse, I'm a 'for the money' nurse. That said, every once in a while, I get rewarded with more than a paycheck.

A couple of nights ago, I was doing lunches. I covered a man with terminal cancer.

Shortly after I took over, an elderly lady with a cane came out said, "I need to use the restroom and then I'm going to get some coffee."

"OK," I replied, "the restroom is over there and the cafeteria is back down that way. They close at midnight so you should be OK. I'll take good care of your husband while you're gone."

"Thanks," she said. "He's not my husband, though, he's my son. Not to worry... people make that mistake a lot since he's become so sick. The cafeteria, though... that's the only place? I don't think I can walk that far. I'll just use the restroom and be right back."

As I walked her toward the restroom, it hit me: "If I can find a volunteer to push you in a wheelchair, would you like to go get your coffee?"

"Oh, that's OK," she said. "Don't make a fuss over me. I'm fine."

Not to be dissuaded, though, while she was in the restroom, I did find a volunteer and wheelchair and explained what needed doing. I slipped her $5 just to be sure that money didn't become an obstacle. "Don't let her see it, just hand it to the cashier. Tell her that we do that for all the families." The woman came out and I got her on her way.

While she was gone, her son (who is just a couple of years older than I am) needed to pee so I helped him out. He was entangled in tubes, wires, and blankets... and ended up with a wet gown. I did the 'buff -n- puff' thing and was just getting him back to bed when his mom returned. One of the volunteers snagged me a warm blanket which I draped across his shoulders... the response to which was a large sigh (through his trach) and a big smile.

Mom looked at me and said, "You're a great nurse... you made him smile." He looked at me, winked, and gave me two thumbs up.

And little do they know, this jaded 'money baller' of nurse has been smiling about this for several days now...

It helped see me through an interaction a couple hours later in which one of our long-time FFs, who is manipulative and threatening (who once told me he was going to get a gun and kill me and my family)... and sometimes violent... and was "sucking the life out of" one of my colleagues... I assumed his care from colleague who needed a break and had the wherewithal to talk him all the way out of the department and off the property without making a huge scene...

I may not be called and I'm no servant of humanity but this encounter with this terminal cancer patient and his mother just touched a deep part of me. I do this work for the money, and nothing else, but I do my best to meet whatever needs I can identify and, every once in a great while, I am rewarded with something besides the double-time wages that I so eagerly scoop up.

As I always assert, I'm not a 'calling' nurse, I'm a 'for the money' nurse. That said, every once in a while, I get rewarded with more than a paycheck.

A couple of nights ago, I was doing lunches. I covered a man with terminal cancer.

Shortly after I took over, an elderly lady with a cane came out said, "I need to use the restroom and then I'm going to get some coffee."

"OK," I replied, "the restroom is over there and the cafeteria is back down that way. They close at midnight so you should be OK. I'll take good care of your husband while you're gone."

"Thanks," she said. "He's not my husband, though, he's my son. Not to worry... people make that mistake a lot since he's become so sick. The cafeteria, though... that's the only place? I don't think I can walk that far. I'll just use the restroom and be right back."

As I walked her toward the restroom, it hit me: "If I can find a volunteer to push you in a wheelchair, would you like to go get your coffee?"

"Oh, that's OK," she said. "Don't make a fuss over me. I'm fine."

Not to be dissuaded, though, while she was in the restroom, I did find a volunteer and wheelchair and explained what needed doing. I slipped her $5 just to be sure that money didn't become an obstacle. "Don't let her see it, just slip it to the cashier. If she sees it, tell her that we do that for all the families." The woman came out and I got her on her way.

While she was gone, her son (who is just a couple of years older than I am) needed to pee so I helped him out. He was entangled in tubes, wires, and blankets... and ended up with a wet gown. I did the 'buff -n- puff' thing and was just getting him back to bed when his mom returned. One of the volunteers snagged me a warm blanket which I draped across his shoulders... the response to which was a large sigh (through his trach) and a big smile.

Mom looked at me and said, "You're a great nurse... you made him smile." He looked at me, winked, and gave me two thumbs up.

And little do they know, this jaded 'money baller' of nurse has been smiling about this for several days now...

It helped see me through an interaction a couple hours later in which one of our long-time FFs, who is manipulative and threatening (who once told me he was going to get a gun and kill me and my family)... and sometimes violent... and was "sucking the life out of" one of my colleagues... I assumed his care from colleague who needed a break and had the wherewithal to talk him all the way out of the department and off the property without making a huge scene...

I may not be called and I'm no servant of humanity but this encounter with this terminal cancer patient and his mother just touched a deep part of me. I do this work for the money, and nothing else, but I do my best to meet whatever needs I can identify and, every once in a great while, I am rewarded with something besides the double-time wages that I so eagerly scoop up.

dudette10, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics. Has 10 years experience.

I had an elderly expressive aphasia patient due to an old stroke, but completely alert and oriented with appropriate gestures head gestures for yes and no. I had her for three days straight, but I had also had her on a previous admission, so I knew her sister would call once a day. When the sister called, the patient would just light up, and I would hold the phone up to her ear so that my patient could hear her. When I was in her room, I would chatter away about the beautiful view and wondering when her sister would call that day.

On my last day of work that week, I helped her lean up so that the docs could hear her lungs. As I was laying her back down, she struggled to reach up with her "better" arm, and she touched my face ever so gently and looked me straight in the eyes before her arm fell back because it was all the strength she had. It was all I could do to keep from tearing up then and there, and I am so grateful for her show of appreciation.

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 45 years experience.

One of my private duty (vent-dependent) adult patients had married and moved out of her parents house. I had last worked a Friday evening shift and arrived on a Sunday morning to find her dressed in her lacy newlywed négligée but soaked in urine head-to-toe with her usually very pale skin bright lobster red.

I don't remember if her Foley tubing got disconnected and/or whether she refused to let one of her new weekend nurses move her extremities so I'm not casting blame.

I just remember feeling as I gave her a bath and clean négligée and changed her linens and untangled all her tubing that I never felt more honored to be a nurse.

Sometimes you get a look of relief from a patient that is so personal, it's priceless.