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  1. Ok, so picture this. Brand new nurse, in the 1970's, in her little white uniform with her long hair severely pulled back into a bun in order to bobby pin her white cap with one black stripe in place. And of course, there is a caduceus stick pin at th...
  2. Gilbert Changed Me

    It led to my limping and stopped cycling. But it led to something good... for me. I became a patient when my leg fractured, I heard triage team calling it compound fracture. I was conscious; saw villagers moving up and down, ambulance sirens and seri...
  3. That Locked Door!

    Stating my home schedule conflicting with an orientation schedule, I was happily surprised by the head nurse's offer to speak with the administration about a "creative scheduling orientation" for me. I jumped at the offer. I was committed to staying ...
  4. White Lady

    It occurred while I was on a night shift (10:00 pm - 6:00 am). I was the charge nurse then so I was the one making rounds to check and monitor the patients even while asleep. At 2:00 am, I quietly entered the dimly lit room of an 80-year-old patient ...
  5. UM Review RN

    Lest We Forget

    Later in the shift, I had to discharge a patient who was very difficult to care for. The patient was very demanding, very miserable and made sure that we all knew it. The family was worse if that was possible. When I did the discharge for that patien...
  6. The Winter of 2004 she thought she had a cold that she couldn't shake so she went to her primary care dr., who said it was probably the flu and prescribed her an antibiotic. When it persisted she returned to her primary care dr., who then did a chest...
  7. My husband had become a disabled veteran after spending some time deployed to Saudi Arabia during his tenure in the United States Air Force. One summer, while driving his Humvee through the desert on patrol, he made a sharp turn. These Humvees do not...
  8. Bortaz

    A Patient That Changed My Life

    Approximately 5 years ago, Lena and Cliff were blessed with the birth of a beautiful baby girl. As older, first-time parents -- both over 40 - they knew there was some chance of a complicated/risky pregnancy. As the pregnancy advanced, tests showed t...
  9. My mother also received high doses of narcotics in these end stages to keep her comfortable. As a result, she had been unresponsive for two days. I was sharing the night shift with my stepsister who gave the thorazine at 2 a.m. and told me that she w...
  10. VivaLasViejas

    You Just Can't Fix Stupid!

    Stupidity is a lot like nuclear energy---it can be used for good or for evil, but either way, you don't want to get any on you. This is never more true than when taking care of patients who have done incredibly idiotic things to themselves that requi...
  11. You know how to make a bed, even with someone in it, but you don't know how to get around to making the bed when the patient keeps asking you questions and sending you on errands. A new nurse is about as worthless as a newborn baby. We run circles ar...
  12. Being the veteran of several years on Med/Surg, I figured that I'd encountered just about every type of patient and family. There was the 99-year-old who'd never been in a hospital in her life, and her sixteen relatives who occupied the room througho...
  13. The boy needed an I.V. But, like many kids, he was afraid of needles and was bound determined not to get one. He was on the backside of the unit, furthest from the nurses station, which is where we tried to keep transplant patients to keep them as fa...
  14. VivaLasViejas

    Nurses Say the Darnedest Things!

    Medicalese is a language that flows as easily as our mother tongue after a few years in the business, but as I was lying in bed last night, wide awake long after sending a resident in flash pulmonary edema to the hospital, I got to thinking about the...
  15. Sweet Pain

    It was such a cold day in December and I could not find the church, the biggest Catholic Church in the downtown area I'd lived in for the last fifteen years. What was I doing? Already had to beg my supervisor in the Medicine ICU for the morning off t...
  16. The evening shift usually stayed rather busy, and often went by quickly. Then would come the night shift. Night shifts were often slow, unless a patient.. Or two... Decided to wake up and act out because we didn't have any apples, or we couldn't let ...
  17. Being a seasoned nurse now, it doesn't bother me much at all, to have to call. However, back when I first began my RN career, there were doctors that would make me shake and shudder in my NurseMates, just at the thought of having to call them. So, it...
  18. nursejoy1

    A Lick and A Promise

    Six months after Pa-Paw's death, I went to work as a CNA in the local nursing home. (The same one I work at today) At the age of nineteen, I wasn't sure that CNA was what I wanted to do, but decided I could do it because it paid better than being a c...
  19. Actually, this tale begins in the early evening: a time of day when hospital life starts to wind down and all the doctors, therapists, families, and administrators head for the exits. It was a time of day when we could usually take a short break befo...
  20. I worked with a doctor who was very proper. He was friendly and not stiff or unapproachable. He just had his own ideas of right and wrong. One day he asked me why I did not wear my cap. I went through the usual answers... It pulls my hair, it is hot,...
  21. Dear Henry

    As a new nurse, I wasn't as outspoken as I am today, I was rather shy, and not as inwardly confident as I would have liked, but I hoped I portrayed an air of confidence outwardly. I went in to introduce myself to my patient and noted that Henry was t...
  22. TopazLover

    Be Kind To Co-workers Or Else

    To tell the truth, I don't know if she had dementia prior to the stroke. Certainly, after this stroke, she had classic perseveration. Many of us have taken care of elders who focused on money when they developed dementia. Perhaps it goes back to bein...
  23. VALUABLE LESSON LEARNED FROM PATIENTSI have learned over time how important it is to actually LISTEN to patients and their closely tied visitors. It is these people that frequently deal with the patient and their struggles of navigating an unpredicta...
  24. But let's not forget the CNA's; they really work hard and do a great job keeping the residents/patients clean, dry, and happy! I feel my time as a CNA was an important part of my nursing experience and enhanced my career. I started as a CNA at age 22...
  25. Candid Camera

    When one of the patients came in for his appointment I went downstairs to greet him and introduce myself. He smiled and hurriedly put out his "roll you're your own" cigarette by rubbing it aggressively on the pavement in the parking lot and placed th...