Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Last Name Sounded Familiar

I worked one day this week...whew, I'm exhausted.  Ahhh, not  I'm resting up for all of the overtime I'll be putting in the next 2 months.  We go "live" with our new computer system on Sunday.  I went ahead & asked to be added on that night - partly because I want to be there when everyone is "new" at it & trying to figure it out and partly because there is a rumor we will be given pizza & chocolate all night  Is there a nurse that doesn't like chocolate???  Heck, is there a woman that doesn't like chocolate????? 

I had another good, easy night.  I had 4 patients and was due to get a 5th, but luckily we never got the call from ER for anymore admits.  Two of my patients were women & every time they had to use the bathroom, they'd call me for assistance.  That was fine with me, I'd rather help them than risk a fall - especially since they both had to drag their IV poles with them.  We had 4 male nurses on the floor last night & by the end of the night, they were saying "Why do your patients always call you when they need to go to the bathroom?"  I jokingly replied with "It's a girl thing, we like to go to the bathroom together."  They laughed.  I like my co-workers, they are so easy to get along with. 

I also had two male patients who were sharing a room.  One was as silent as could be, the other - he more than made up for the other one being silent.  He talked & talked & talked.  One time when I was walking by, I saw our respiratory therapist in there talking to him.  Well, he was talking to her, she was just listening.  I could tell she wasn't able to get out of there so I said "Hey, can I talk to you for a minute?"  She walked out of the room & kept thanking me the rest of the night.  It's not that we don't like talking to patients, but we need time to do our job also.  I went back in later & he had on "Dancing With the Stars."  We bonded over  I told him to let me know who got kicked off.  About a half hour later, the PCT says "Your patient wants to talk to you about Dancing With the Stars."  He couldn't wait to give me theresults which ended up no one being kicked off last night. 

It was a simple night for all of us.  As I was giving my 6 am meds to one of my female patients...I stood back & watched her take them.  She's a woman in her 60's who has lung cancer.  Her blood pressure was extremely low when she was seeing her doctor that day so he sent her over to the hospital.  The last name sounded very familiar to me.  She's been to the hospital numerous times because of the cancer.  I still couldn't place her - she didn't physically look familiar to me.  Then she turned on her tv & watched the shopping all came back to me.  Months ago she had been sharing a room with a patient I was assigned to.  I remember the tv always being on the shopping network.  I also remembered that her husband was always at her bedside - catering to her - such devotion.  I found out last night during report that her husband passed away not too long ago.  How heartbreaking.  So as I stood back & watched her take her pills, I thought about how much I take for granted.  Here she was struggling just to pick up a pill & swallow very slowly, I had to split the pills in half for her.  It took her about 5 minutes to take 2 pills.  I don't want to say I felt sorry for her, because sorry isn't the right word.  I sort of wished I could make everything better for her, but I can''s not possible.  That's the part of nursing I don't like - with some patients, you'll never be able to improve the quality of their life.  You'll never be able to have them smiling or feeling happy - no matter what you do.  So I did what I was able to do - treat her the best way possible, make sure her every need was tended to & that if she needed anything, I would be there to help during the shift. 

It's another weekend with my niece...her birthday is getting close, not that I need that as excuse to spoil  Have a good weekend everyone!


am4039 said...

so sorry about the patient with the lung cancer and having her husband pass away. How sad. Pizza and chocolate, sounds all good to me. I might show up too. LOL

tendernoggle said... sad about the cancer patient...but you know what? You DO HELP.....You have the best kind of is called "LOVE AND KINDNESS...AND CARING" and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for just being there for the patients that are fortunate enough to have you as their nurse. I mean that.
love ya,

ceejaec1 said...

You're an inspiration to me.  You are so caring with your patients.  I hope I show that kind of caring and compassion to my patients!