Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Unwanted visitors.

Why do people think just because you have a driveway are allowed to drive up it. And then they think they can come up on your porch, knock on your door, and tell you that you are going to hell if you don't listen to them?

I met those people with a broom in my hand and told them to go away and don't come back.

You would think the days are gone when people would feel safe walking up to a stranger's door.

Next time it might not be a broom I hold.

How would they like it if I knocked on their door and told them they were wrong in everything they thought and believed. Church people have been doing this forever. It is time they stopped. It really isn't safe.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hospice Angels

I don't believe in heaven or angels. I believe in the earthly angels. I've met them many times. The best ones work for hospice.

On this mother's day our hearts are heavy. Tonya's mother died April 23. She was in a hospital bed in the middle of our living room. Facing a wall of windows looking out on a yard full of daisies and beautiful green things.

What a lady she was. Always had polished fingernails, always dressed in fine clothes.

She decided it was time to die. She said so. She said she was ready. She talked to the hospice nurse like she was planning a business deal.

We watched her slowly letting go, giving directions to her children, look there for this, look there for that, be sure you check on this.

I saw a slight hesitation as she opened her mouth for her first dose of Ativan and Morphine to ease her pain and difficulty breathing. We kept her comfortable and clean. She left us like a lady.

Wow! If we could all choose to go like that wouldn't we? Shouldn't we?

A family sent a loved one to the ER with respiratory distress. I watched as he struggled to breathe. I watched as he was intubated and put on a respirator. Not good. Traumatic, intrusive, so sad.

Hospice is the way to do this. The angels come to usher us out of this life when we are ready. May we all know when that time is and may we let our families know what we want.

Happy mother's day Arlene. Here's to a strong and brave lady.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Teddy Award

No, this isn't about those skimpy nighties. This is about the true Teddy Awards. I will write the original here:

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again...who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.

I believe we nurses deserve a Teddy Award. I believe we should be made to feel like what we do for our patients matters. Sometimes it just isn't enough to pat ourselves on the back and feel good inside about what we did that shift, about what happened and how well we handled it all.

Something is just wrong when the CEO brings food down to our break room and then says "Now bring those satisfaction scores up."

We truly spend ourselves in a worthy cause. We go limping home and try to rest and heal our sore spots and get ready to do it all again.

We wash off the blood and the gore and try to get the charcoal out of our clothes, and the thoughts of that homeless person we shuffled from one part of the hospital to another.

There are days it really feels like a strategizing game. Move this one here and that one there and get the admitted patients up to make room for more coming in.

Yesterday I passed the exam and am now a Board Certified Emergency Nurse. I feel great about it. It will get me no raise or promotions. But I did it.

I love what I do. I want to do it better every day. And I want some God damn kudos instead of having things I didn't do pointed out every day.

So everybody on my team gets a TEDDY AWARD, whatever that might look like. I love all of you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Power of One

When there is no one in your life to encourage you and tell you that no matter what, you are good, you matter, there is a reason for your life, and that you are loved at your most unlovable, you will seek out those affirmations anywhere you can find them.

We must seek everyday to build a team of support around us. And we must in turn be there to give others that support.

When we fill our circle, strengthen the walls, and nurture our garden of friends, no one and nothing will be able to make us feel inadequate, unloved, unneeded, unimportant.

And we will not fall for the empty promises of what comes after death. We will not need to give up on this life and this world.

I am looking out my window on a rainy day, feeling melancholy and being okay with that. Rainy days are good for that. I feel loved and happy. I only hope I make other people feel that way too.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Remember When

We had a few rare moments last night at work to stroll down memory lane.

We remembered when nursing meant something more to us. Evening back rubs with warm lotion for our patients was better than a sleeping pill.

Patients checking in the night before their surgery so we could do pre op teaching and do that dreaded enema and bowel prep under our watchful eye and aide. We taught you to deep breath and cough and told you what to expect when you got out of surgery.

You knew that your primary care Dr. would be there for you in the hospital. You felt safe and secure because your Dr. knew you and your needs. Now you are placed under the care of a stranger, however competent he or she may be.

Remember when you got one bill? I know this is a stretch for some of you younger ones. Now there is confusion over who got paid by the insurance company and who do you owe.

The paper work is overwhelming to say the least. Sign here to say you understand that there is no smoking on this campus. Okay. Sign here to say you understand that you will be responsible for anything your insurance does not cover. Duhhhhh! Sign here to say you understand that you will be receiving a separate bill from radiology and lab. Sign, sign, sign.

I wish for simplicity for us and our patients. I wish for comfort and caring for our patients. I wish for less stressed nurses and an atmosphere of kindness and love. I wish for no more added paperwork. Let's do some take aways for a change.

Remember when we loved what we did?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

For the sake of a clean shower door.

I am always interested in knowing how people hurt themselves. Maybe so I can be more careful in life and avoid those same mistakes.

This one is priceless.

A man wants to have a clear shower door instead of an opaque one. His wife agrees if the husband agrees to squeegee the door after he showers.

The man agrees and the door is installed. The wife discovers his trick. He always showers first leaving her to squeegee the door after her shower.

One day he was headed to the shower and she decided to beat him to it. She fell and broke her ankle.

Now she won't be taking showers for awhile with her cast on so guess who gets to squeegee the shower door?

She smiles when she hears the squeegee sound now I bet.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Are they listening?

I've been working some overtime lately on purpose. ER has been slower than usual. I have had more time to actually spend at the bedside with my patients. I really enjoy that.

I talked with a German lady and found myself mesmerized by her accent. She told me stories of her travels and compared things with living in Germany.

One thing she talked most about was getting around in the different cities. In Germany, you don't really need a car. You just get on a bus and go anywhere you want.

Freedom means going where you want without having to drive there.

This lady was very sick when she came in. And much better when we had our conversation. I saw her color get healthier and her eyes brighten as she told me stories of her travels. This is my favorite kind of nursing. The human kind.

Listening is cheep medicine.