Saturday, February 16, 2013

Giving credit where credit is due

Sometimes patients teach me instead of the other way around.

As you know I am a Nurse. Nursing is definitely a job that is not defined by one particular task and there are many areas in the workforce a nurse can go the floor (aka, the hospital), outpatient centers, surgery, administration, teaching, you get the point. Currently, I work in the Neurosurgical ICU at a Level 1 Trauma Center. So, that makes me a floor nurse. :) I LOVE where I work. It is a constant challenge. My patients range from critical to actively dying to stable to the ones just there for observation after a minor procedure. Because of where I work we get a decent amount of head traumas but the majority of what I deal with are strokes. 

Pretty crazy looking right?!?! 
Please educate yourselves about Stroke and it's signs and symptoms here
Time is Brain people!

So, those are the scans of my patient population. Feel a little intimidated?? 

Wait for it...

BAM! This is the general view for me at work. Ventilator. Drips. Feeding tubes. "Output" tubes. Central lines. Drains. Pressure Reading Devices. So, I'm pretty sure you just said whoa. I still get intimidated when I walk into the unit. I still cry when a patient passes. I still sometimes don't know what to say to families when they ask if their loved one is gonna make it when it is very clear that they are not. And sometimes I really really really just don't know.

ICU nurses sometimes get a bad wrap for being know-it-alls, b*tches, heartless, etc, etc. I refuse to ever allow myself to be like that; I care too much. I try very hard to not be a judgmental nurse either. Some patients I get for self induced reasons and others I get for unforeseeable reasons.

This post actually all stemmed from a patient I had recently. She was young. Scared. Even through the sedation and pain drip she was able to follow commands. Sometimes doctors tend to come in do what they got to do and leave. Well that's just what this doctor did. Came in, ripped off dressings, replaced them and left. I immediately increased her pain pump and sedation and held her hand until he was finished. I sat with her for an hour afterwards calming her back down. 

 My little lady who was scared as scared could be had actually chosen to take her own life and survived her self-inflicted injury. She regrets her decision and is grateful she survived. Her road to recovery will be long. She now knows there are people who love her and has begun the healing process with her family. It doesn't matter to me why she was there I am just grateful I was able to help her through it.  

Since coming to the ICU I have begun to value life a little more. Say I love you more to my family members. Hug more people. Reach out to friends I haven't seen in awhile. Tried to make amends in relationships where I can. Have more patience with people who tend to irritate me. And really try and let the trivial things go. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. 

Nursing is a lot of things but my number #1 is to care. 

And I think we all need to laugh after this

I love these things. They make me giggle. Nurses have a very twisted sense of humor. 

Still not laughing???

Go here O.M.G funniest stuff EVER!!!

Also, if you or someone you care about is having suicidal thoughts please reach out. 

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