its a wonderful thing to have time away from work. being a nurse you have such flexibility. where else would you get full time benefits, work 3 days a week, and somehow get 6 days off in a row???
the other day i had a conversation with an irate resident. she had been snapping at co-workers and even a patient here and there all day. when it came down to it i knew that this wasn't her normal self. well, come to find out she had basically been working everyday for multiple weeks and it was just getting to her.
unfortunately, this is the field you chose, and this is the route you must take. i get asked by many, whether i am in training or whether this is a stepping stone to becoming a doctor. no, i do not want to be a doctor. i see what they go through, and the great things they do. but i enjoy being able to sit with a patient here and there. just talk, and sometimes get to know them. being able to take the time on a slower day and make sure they understand the medications, or their disease process. its the interaction time that you lack being a doctor. and for right now, i enjoy that.
every once in awhile you'll get a patient that is really nice. a sweet little old lady or a nice gentleman. and you just get the notion that they want some company. i don't mind it and actually take pleasure in interacting with my patients on a more personable level.
just the other day i met a very nice man. he had a curious accent. John had come in for bilateral lower extremity pitting edema and shortness of breath. he was not a young pup, but not old. pushing 60s. he was placed in my assignment in the corner. kind of tucked away not to be seen or disturbed. but i frequently make my way there to keep an eye on the area and its revolving inhabitants.
John had complaints of swelling and shortness of breath yet looked to be as happy as could be. other than being alone. every time i had entered or walked by he would start a little chat with me. now this wasn't a slow day, but i could definitely take a few moments here and there, scattered, and talk with him. i learned his accent was from Tanzania and that he had planned to return home. 'when you're older you wonder how it is back home, the family, the land, the food' he said. we got to talking about culture, and my background, and how his interactions with another hospital weren't as pleasant as they had been here.
interestingly enough it is heard through the grapevine, that the other facility is known for its innovation and money and technology. however, i hear from too many that the personability is lacking there. the homely, humble, and plain friendly interactions are not felt there. and yet, because of where my current facility is located, the neighborhoods it serves are less endowed, and yet they are more appreciative, on the whole. of course you get those that just nothing will make them happy. but its my opinion that the those that have less, appreciate less, and the more you give, the more they appreciate.
now my newly befriended patient, John, was actually discharged much the opposite of many of our staff's opinions. after review with the md, it seemed that with xrays, lab work, ecg, and ultrasound that there was no acute life threatening cause for the symptoms and he was able to be released to follow up. we made sure he understood followup care and had case management reiterate this info to him. and i did the same before i let him go adding in some 'what ifs' of my own. he was so pleased to not only have such a pleasant time in a questionable moment and a lonely place in his life, but also to be able to go home! he continually asked if he could talk to management on our staff's behalf. but i assured him that that is not why he was treated so nicely. and i am sure that with my team i had that day, it was not.
some days, you just love doing what you do. and others...well, let's leave that for another blog entry shall we? :)