Essay about being a nurse she
Compassion is knowing when to be the shoulder to cry on and when to be the motivator for life changing health habits. All throughout my life, I see all different kinds of people in poverty, may it be infants, children, elderly people and even disabled people. I was able to coordinate all care provided by the entire health care team. I wanted to help them, yet I didn't know how since I was just a child. I was overly sensitive, even as a child, to the suffering of others.
Snapshots of life at home. June 19 5: Illustration by Robert Neubecker.
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True Stories of Becoming a Nursea collection edited by Lee Gutkind, out now from In Fact Books. A child is dead. There is a terrifying, soul-piercing scream that a mother makes when she loses a child. This scream is so universal that everyone, in every corner of the emergency department, knows what has just happened when they hear it.
Advertisement On a sunny summer morning, a young mother of a 3-year-old watched, stunned by ultimate dread, as her little boy ran out into the normally quiet street. On that day, however, the driver of a rainbow-painted Volkswagen bus careened through the neighborhood; 20 minutes later the mother stood in our trauma room, looking as if she might collapse. She told us, through tears and broken English, how she had heard the screech of tires, the crumpling thud.
She ran into the street, knelt down to her son, and gathered the go here boy into her arms. Get Slate in your inbox. It may have been clear to the paramedics, when they arrived, that this child had no life left in him, yet they knew to move with the kind of energy that infuses hope into impossible situations.
They did everything in their power—oxygen, monitors, IVs—an all-out resuscitative effort. Except, I suppose, to see no effort at all. The little, broken body was transported to our emergency room, and we put on a similar show—a collective swoop of doctors and nurses and technicians. We, too, need this cathartic effort in order to begin to grieve. Seeing a child die is never easy. Years ago, it was customary to keep families out of the room when a crisis was in progress. But nowadays we know that one last look, one more moment of hope can be vitally important to the process of saying goodbye.
The mother, looking stricken and white, stood by the door and held onto the arm of a nurse. When the initial moments had passed, the chaotic energy in the room suddenly changed. The doctor lowered his voice and called the time. Advertisement And so, the scream. I left the room to find the father in the waiting room down the hall.
I paused at the door before entering, wanting to wait as long as possible before destroying his world. He took one look at my face and fell to his knees, his forehead slapping onto the scuffed white floor. I waited while he groaned to his feet, then led him to his wife and dead child.
So the parents could sit with the little boy, the team had tried to clean him up and had pulled the tube from his nose. I motioned the father into the room and left them alone to say their goodbyes. I had to rush to the next emergency. Courtesy of In Fact Books That was the moment when my edges began to wither and I felt a hardness creeping in. Was it really possible that my learn more here to the intense anguish of two broken parents was to push them into a room and run off to finish my job?
When had I become so callous? I was overly sensitive, even as a child, to the suffering of others. When I watched Westerns, I would get teary when the cowboys yanked at the mouths of their horses. In the fourth grade, I jokingly pulled the chair out from behind a shy and quiet classmate, the way I had seen it done on The Three Stooges. The boy fell and hurt his back, and I was so distraught over his tears that I never spoke to him again.
While working in a bookstore, years later, I happened to glance through the pages of an autobiography written by a man who had been viciously abused as a child. Advertisement How does someone with these pathological, debilitating reactions to distress function in a world of endless pain and struggle? Build walls and stay busy. I had been involved in emergency medicine for 14 years—first as an emergency medical technician, then as a paramedic, and finally as a nurse.
The crackling energy and hot, white lights of the ER seemed like a perfect fit for my frenetic nature. So, there I was, a center stage participant in a vital dance, and the result was a matter of life and death. I felt completely at ease. Everyone around me thought I was doing a great job. But nonstop motion is not always as productive as it seems—the best emergency workers, in fact, move slowly, carefully.
I eventually realized I was missing something. I felt like a fraud. I went to nursing school partly because I liked being the one whom people looked to and leaned on in times of crisis.
Like many people I met in emergency medicine, I had the proverbial need to be needed. I took pride in caring for my patients, but my urgency to be in the next moment prevented me from really seeing them. My co-workers liked to work with me, link course, and my employers thought I was excelling.
But what about the patients? But I knew the time had come essay about being a nurse she move on. Advertisement The ability to change specialties is one of the best aspects of nursing. I assumed, because I had seen so much, because my critical care skills were the envy of some physicians, and because I knew exactly how to react in the direst of situations, that I was qualified to do anything.
I had seen things most people would never see, having been at the center of a pounding, bloody battle where we see more as often as we lost. I needed something completely different. Of course, any other type of nursing would be, if not a step down, at least less challenging. I walked around a job fair, aimless and uncertain, until I found myself standing in front of a hospice booth.
I had been, in my childhood, a distant witness to several deaths. When my great-grandfather died, I watched my mom cry and was sad he would never finish teaching me to play pinochle. I was heartbroken for my friend when her mother died, and I cried and cried when a car hit my golden retriever. But I was never afraid. This is not to say that I was evolved or anything. When I was 13 years old and square in the middle of that most awkward, terrifying slice of adolescence, I actually looked forward to death. Perhaps it was a brief, pathological, adolescent-induced depression that made me wish for it.
As I matured, however, the feeling that death was a lovely way "essay about being a nurse she" stayed with me. Nothing could ever get me really down, or be too serious, because Learn more here would eventually die. It may sound like a strange consolation, but I had become quite comfortable with my old friend, Death. Maybe hospice would be the fit I was searching for. During my first month of the new job, I agreed to work the weekend on-call shift.
Two hour days of nonstop calls took me from one end of the spectrum to the other: I constantly switched gears, depending on where a particular patient or family happened to fall on the timeline of life and death. Caring for the dying, as well as their families, I hardly noticed that I had somehow chosen the one shift in hospice that fit my old profile. Over one weekend, I ordered antibiotics for a year-old woman who lived alone and refused help with anything, comforted a woman who had to place her elderly husband in a nursing home against his will, and started an IV on a young woman who insisted she was not ready to die, though every system in her body was decaying from cancer.
I spent two hours talking a wildly delirious patient into allowing his wife to give him his meds; I ran back to the office for supplies, twice; and I spent several hours with family members as they waited for the mortuary to pick up their matriarch. A tiny flaw in the genetic makeup of a developing human can result in a life just incomplete enough—after nine months of gestating, 16 hours of birthing, and a few hours of bonding—to be afflicted with multiple congenital anomalies. We are probably talking about weeks. His tiny frame would flail in violent, disorganized muscle contractions 10, 15, 20 times a day.
The hospice team—a nurse, a social worker, a chaplain, and a CNA—visited the parents every day to comfort them, to teach them to care for him, and to support their grieving process. The family had gotten to know this team, but I was the nurse on call that day. Thirty minutes after I got the page, I drove up a bumpy dirt road to a little green house on the side of a mountain.
The neighborhood was quiet, private, and filled with golden aspens changing colors for the season. The door opened before I knocked. He led me silently through a hallway, one entire wall of which was covered with books—perhaps the ones they had hoped their son would read. The mother was sitting in a rocking chair, holding her seizing infant.
My heart broke for them, but I stood by and fought the urge to rush in. I waited with them, moving only to help with positioning or to offer gentle suggestions. In the air, I felt his tiny presence slip away, slowly and peacefully. He stopped moving, his breathing slowed until it was imperceptible, and for a moment his complete stillness made me hold my own breath.
I reached for the pediatric stethoscope around my neck, warming it in my hand so as not to startle him.
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I knew from her expression that she knew. A slow, fat tear dripped down her face, and I backed away, just far enough out of the picture, in my attempt not to invade this moment of goodbye between the three of them. There was nothing for me to do but be still.
I crept back, found a chair, and sat to wait. And then I began to sob. I felt myself losing control, choking and sobbing as if he were my child, my loss. I tried not to make noise, tried not to trespass on their moment. I was so ashamed! I was supposed to be their support, their rock. His eyes were wet and kind. He handed me a tissue. I got it together, finally, and helped them decide what to do. I called the physician, the coroner, and the mortuary. I was watching them ease down the driveway when the car suddenly stopped. The mother gently handed her little bundle over to her husband and got out of the car.
I was so stunned by the gentle, intimate comfort she offered that I barely moved. She finally let me go, looked at me, then got back into the car. It was the best I could do.