sometimes, you walk into work, see your assignment and think - okay, this night just may go pretty smoothly.
I have 4 patients, a few blood sugars at bedtime, meds here and there...
1900 hits [7pm], and you start to get report from the day shift nurses from your patients - meeting them one at a time.
Right before you meet your last patient, you IP phone rings and it's your charge nurse telling you - "you're getting the first admission. Its so and so coming from the ED and I'll get their information".
This is all happening before you have even gotten report on all the patients you planned to have for the evening.
At this point, its hard not to let these things throw you off your plan of action for the shift - to add to the stress of getting things done in a timely manner.
it's hard when you're asked to do one thing - like pull pain meds for someone - and just as you walk up to the pyxis to pull the meds, your IP phone rings again and someone else needs you to look at their IV - then while in that room, it rings again and magically, the techs are no where to be found and you have to go help someone to the bathroom.
[or maybe it was just the night I was having and it's NOT totally normal??]
in other words.. busy busy busy.
All the while, you're trying to do assessments, go thru all your doctor's orders, pass 9pm meds, make sure you have all the supplies and flushes you need - and quickly run to make sure your new admission's room is set up and ready to be occupied.
If you're lucky, you can get some stuff taken care of before the ED nurse calls to give your report on the new patient.
and in between running from one hall to the next, decked out in sheets, pillows and blankets for the cot/couch bed for a patients spouse, the new patient is being wheeled down the hall with a couple family members in tow...
What do I do in moments like these?
Even when there's not even a minute to pause and think about what comes next,
and know that I'm only one person.
If I need help, I ask for it.
I do all that I can.
and that's about all I can do...
Just so happens, the new admission is a jewel.
a sweet, sweet person that helps the fact that you weren't even completely ready to have them come up and be admitted yet.
And it's only the beginning of your night 1 of 2...
AND it's Christmas night.
apparently there were a LOT of stabbings Christmas day..
In no way is THAT Christmas cheer...
As I've learned from one of my most favorite assistant nurse [night] managers, I like to spoil my patients.
all of them.
I like to talk to them.
I'm there when sometimes family is not.
And no matter now frustrating it can be at times, I can honestly say I take good care of my patients.
I leave a little piece of my heart with them.
I make the effort even when I have 6 patients - which if you don't know - its a lot and hard to deal with in itself.
and when I'm leaving them in the hands of their day shift nurse after giving report, when walking out of their room for probably what will be the last time I'll ever see them, and they say,
"thank you for all that you've done"
it makes me smile and feel that I've accomplished the goal of meeting their needs.
NOW, when they say,
"I love you!"
it warms all of my insides and further validates the fact that I put all of myself into what I do - leaving them a part of me.
Those 3 words - I love you - are such a sweet, sweet gift after such a long, exhausting shift [or in my case, 2 nights in a row]
I have taken care of some of the best people I will ever meet as patients.
People that otherwise, I would have never crossed paths with.
People that touch my life hopefully as much as I've tried to touch theirs.
People who make me smile when I think about them weeks down the road.
Only about a handful of people have told me they love me, but so far, its a handful that I've never forgotten.
I love what I do.
I love going to work.
12+ hour shifts take a lot out of you but there are sweet children, men and women out there - posing as patients in hospital rooms - that make it all worth it.
It is a blessing that I'm able to say I'm a nurse.
I get to help others in need on a daily basis.
and those connections last a lifetime.
I never take for granted when they say, "I love you"
I smile and say it back ;)
Love you too!!