Sunday, September 12, 2010

being a nurse

I think I'll just hang out here alone for a little while before I go visit my blogging friends, now that I've verified that they're all still alive.

I'm back in school, so I've been thinking a lot about the ins and outs of the nursing profession again. All the hollow shells of academic theories that I learned back in Chicago, I'm now finding the snails that live inside.

When people ask me "what's the most f%cked up situation you've ever been in?", I could probably name a lot of things outside of work, but I think they mean as a nurse.

It's really difficult to pick a single story that tops them all, because every patient encounter I've had has its own strange idiosyncrasies, and how can you rate them? (I guess it would go like this: on a 1-10 scale, with 10 at the top of the f%cked up factor, 1 would be getting a spot of blood on my uniform, 10 would be the patient puking up blood all over the floor and my shoes just before he codes)

I think the better question to ask a nurse is "What is the most rewarding situation you've been in?"

That gets us thinking past the exhaustion and frustration, and we remember how we picked up on a subtle clue that portended early sepsis, effectively saving a patient's life. Or the time a patient in the ER thanked us for treating them with the dignity and respect that they deserved.

We remember that the work we're doing is not in vain. Focusing on the positive might just be the solution we need to keeping more good nurses around.


Kathi54 said...

I can only imagine the stories you must have. Whether they're worth saying out loud, or keeping in your memory, you lived through each one, and I'm sure each one had some sort of an impact on you. What a blessing that could be.

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