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What has been the most rewarding moment of your nursing career?

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Hello everyone! I am new to allnurses and wanted to start a topic with some positive feedback! I am a newer nurse (less than two years of experience) and still waiting for that "wow" moment! Just curious to see what some of you have experienced!

One moment that stands out to me is when I was able to prevent a resident from having to go to the ER. The resident had been complaining of a lot of pain and pressure in his abdomen. I did not know this at first, because he was actually not my assigned patient, and all I heard from the aide was that he was having pain. The resident was able to receive PRN oxycodone, so I went and asked him if he thought that would help, as his assigned nurse was willing to brush him off and saying there wasn't much she could do. When the resident stated he did not feel that would be very helpful and wanted to go to the ER because the pain was unbearable, I asked him more about his pain. He described it as a pressure in his lower abdomen. Knowing that he was frequently bladder scanned and I/O cathed, I suspected that maybe he had a full bladder. This was in spite of the fact that his assigned nurse had already said she bladder scanned him, and the amount was low, so she did not I&O cath him. So, I decided to perform my own bladder scan, and sure enough, I came up with a high number, over 500 or 600 or so. With that, I proceeded to I&O cath him and got most of the urine out. He immediately felt a decrease in pain and no longer wanted to visit the ER. He was so grateful that I was able to give him some relief and his wife was also very appreciative. His assigned nurse was also thankful because she did not know what else she could do to help him.

One moment that stands out to me is when I was able to prevent a resident from having to go to the ER. The resident had been complaining of a lot of pain and pressure in his abdomen. I did not know this at first, because he was actually not my assigned patient, and all I heard from the aide was that he was having pain. The resident was able to receive PRN oxycodone, so I went and asked him if he thought that would help, as his assigned nurse was willing to brush him off and saying there wasn't much she could do. When the resident stated he did not feel that would be very helpful and wanted to go to the ER because the pain was unbearable, I asked him more about his pain. He described it as a pressure in his lower abdomen. Knowing that he was frequently bladder scanned and I/O cathed, I suspected that maybe he had a full bladder. This was in spite of the fact that his assigned nurse had already said she bladder scanned him, and the amount was low, so she did not I&O cath him. So, I decided to perform my own bladder scan, and sure enough, I came up with a high number, over 500 or 600 or so. With that, I proceeded to I&O cath him and got most of the urine out. He immediately felt a decrease in pain and no longer wanted to visit the ER. He was so grateful that I was able to give him some relief and his wife was also very appreciative. His assigned nurse was also thankful because she did not know what else she could do to help him.

Thanks for your response!

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

Lots of "wow" moments. They still happen on a regular basis, like every time a Patient has a better quality of life due to our interventions.

A few of my own: Working as a Scrub Nurse in OR in 1987 when the Surgeon let me cut the cords of newborn baby twins. Or the time I worked in small community Hospital ER in 1992 and the ERP told me, "We saved that man's life!"

And here's another I wrote about when I first joined AN.com:

https://allnurses.com/general-nursing-discussion/nursing-supervisor-takes-485472.html

Thanks for asking, oceangirl!

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

Hello everyone! I am new to allnurses and wanted to start a topic with some positive feedback! I am a newer nurse (less than two years of experience) and still waiting for that "wow" moment! Just curious to see what some of you have experienced!

Patience , grasshopper .. your moment will come.

I have saved lives , and I have watched them go. My moment was when my patient died. I was cleaning up the scene.. my patient was in his body bag..he started to breath again. Thought I was seeing things. Called the doc.. we coded him again. Al lived for another 2 days.

Thinking his family .. got to say good bye.

I like your idea/post - - but may I suggest that there's no need to wait for (or look too hard for) rewarding moments!

I've had numerous situations/days where I felt good/great/awesome about some aspect of the work done, or was touched by a patient/family, or where I learned something really fascinating. Or where I shared in someone else's lightbulb moment, or where I overhear a newer nurse explaining how s/he accomplished something by saying "JKL taught me that!", or any one of many situations that were profound for their own special reasons.

I've, too, have experienced a number of the situations that others may think were really "that ONE special moment" and, it's true, they were/are profound - but in such a way that I can't really pick one. However, my view is that if you believe in the work you do and you aim to do it to the best of your ability, you can feel "rewarded" with some frequency.

Enjoy your Nursing career...be the best you can be! :)

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

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

I had a baby (E) I cared for PDN/ in home for a couple of years. She was on a vent when she came home from NICU, has hypoplastic right heart (pulmonary atresia) and an entire constellation of defects that don't add up to any currently known syndrome.

So we finally got her off the vent, but because of her Pierre-Robin structured face, it was another year before she could be decannulated. I only saw her every now and then after that, as she seldom needed nursing care and her parents were very cautious of using resources they didn't truly need. But one day my agency called and said the parents requested me and me only for a daytime short shift.

I arrived at their apartment, and mom told me E has been working very hard with speech therapy. Just then E popped around the corner and said "Hi Mary!" It was the first time I had EVER heard her speak- and she said my name!

*She's in third grade now and rides the bus and plays softball and does normal kid things.

Cactus Nurse

Specializes in TBI and SCI.

wow. I hope you taught that nurse how to do a correct bladder scan. The poor pt, that is so sad. Good job :)

Cactus Nurse

Specializes in TBI and SCI.

My " moment" is just when I actually felt like a nurse..... I had done home health (hate it lol), then worked in a drug/ alcohol rehab, not the nursing I would want to do forever, but I got a second job working in a 6 bed sub-acute ( it's congregate living, I worked inside a home and my pt lived there, it's a nicer setting than a facility or hospital, anyways)...

I'm at work, CNA is doing care for a pt... I keep hearing the vent alarm go off, "ok she's just turning him, nothing alarming..." it keeps going off, so I walk in because I'm annoyed.. My pt is struggling to breathe, the CNA had done something and "reconnected" his vent when it popped off and she had connected some tubing in the wrong line.... I tried to connect everything correctly and waited a bit to see if he was going to get better, nothing, I checked his O2, he was at 14!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I almost died, he literally was struggling to gasp for air, I quickly ripped open the bag with my AMBU bag and began to ventilate him.... he quickly stabilized...

If I had kept thinking she was just doing his care and the alarm would shut off soon, he would have died.... After that is when I got my nursing themed half sleeve tattoo :)

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

Every time I place a brand new baby into a mother's arms.

Lots of "wow" moments. They still happen on a regular basis, like every time a Patient has a better quality of life due to our interventions.

A few of my own: Working as a Scrub Nurse in OR in 1987 when the Surgeon let me cut the cords of newborn baby twins. Or the time I worked in small community Hospital ER in 1992 and the ERP told me, "We saved that man's life!"

And here's another I wrote about when I first joined AN.com:

https://allnurses.com/general-nursing-discussion/nursing-supervisor-takes-485472.html

Thanks for asking, oceangirl!

That would have been such a memorable experience!

And thanks for sharing that article :)

Patience , grasshopper .. your moment will come.

I have saved lives , and I have watched them go. My moment was when my patient died. I was cleaning up the scene.. my patient was in his body bag..he started to breath again. Thought I was seeing things. Called the doc.. we coded him again. Al lived for another 2 days.

Thinking his family .. got to say good bye.

I can't even imagine!

I like your idea/post - - but may I suggest that there's no need to wait for (or look too hard for) rewarding moments!

I've had numerous situations/days where I felt good/great/awesome about some aspect of the work done, or was touched by a patient/family, or where I learned something really fascinating. Or where I shared in someone else's lightbulb moment, or where I overhear a newer nurse explaining how s/he accomplished something by saying "JKL taught me that!", or any one of many situations that were profound for their own special reasons.

I've, too, have experienced a number of the situations that others may think were really "that ONE special moment" and, it's true, they were/are profound - but in such a way that I can't really pick one. However, my view is that if you believe in the work you do and you aim to do it to the best of your ability, you can feel "rewarded" with some frequency.

Enjoy your Nursing career...be the best you can be! :)

Thanks for this! I really enjoyed your perspective, made me think of a few good moments actually! :)

aflahe00

Specializes in Med/surg/ortho. Has 7 years experience.

I was taking care of a coworker of all people. He was a respiratory therapist. Early 60s. Came in with rectal bleeding which turned out to be caused by a bleeding ulcer. Easy procedure, the ulcer was cauterized and he was to go home the next day. He was getting up and down on his own and was having no problems. Around 2am I'm siting in the back of the unit where my patients are, I'm the only one around. I hear a loud thud and I knew it was his room! I opened his door cautiously to hit immediate resistance because he was laying in the floor right in front of the door. I helped him

up and onto the toilet where he then passed a large amount of bright red blood. He was grey. Confused an for in and out of consciousness. I called for help with my phone and help quickly came. The rapid response nurse came and just as quickly she award running down the hail wheeling my patient to icu.

His ulcer started bleeding again. The doctor told him if I hadn't been near by things might have been different. Very scary! He thanked me when he returned to work. Thanked me for saving his life. Just did what I was supposed to do.

Kareegasee

Specializes in SICU. Has 5 years experience.

Getting invited into the OR for an organ harvest surgery on a young Gift of Life patient I had been solely taking care of x 3 days. I got to stand at the head of the bed next to the anesthesiologist, alongside the surgeons I work with everyday, and watch the entire, beautiful process.

chris21sn, BSN, RN

Specializes in CVICU, CCRN. Has 5 years experience.

Whenever I perform codes and am able to sucessfully vent patients. It's another sense of relief especially after performing 30 minute compressions on a patient and our work is payed off

in the Icu, there are many codes - unfortunately some of them don't make it -- but the others I'm able to help --- those are the best feelings

The day that I got to eat lunch. Lol, kidding. I have run into a few former patients out in the world and its great to see them healthy and walking around after seeing them miserable and in bed.

Marisette, BSN, RN

Specializes in Registered Nurse. Has 28 years experience.

Some times those wow moments happen and we don't realize it immediately until we have a chance to reflect. I worked with very ill patient's on dialysis and got to know a few over time. Then one day, when I was no longer working with them, I realize I got the opportunity to see them at their worst and best. It's amazing how life changing treatment's and circumstances can change a life.

I recall grocery shopping in a large store. Then suddenly, "a stranger", a young lady accompanied by two toddlers and a young man, leaves her family behind. She started running towards me, big smile, arms wide open. I thought, "oh, oh, this girl has mistaken me for someone else". She hugs me and I somewhat hug her back. But she realizes that I don't know who she is and states "don't you remeber me"? I shamefully ask her to remind me, and suddenly I realize this young lady is the 16 year old dialysis patient I cared for all grown up and with her family. She received a kidney transplant and had two children and nearby was her husband who I had the chance to meet. WOW !!!