Love and Hate-a Nurse’s List

Image

 

A list, as inspired by the writing challenge

I love:

Holding your hand as you are afraid and feeling you become calm
Explaining to you what the Doctor said in simpler terms
Listening to your lungs and realizing that your pneumonia is getting better
Giving you a cup of water when you are thirsty
Helping you take a shower when you haven’t taken one in days
Noticing when you are getting worse and ‘pulling’ you back from the brink
Talking to you about your surgery and answering your questions
Having the time to hear about your family
Making your pain more manageable
Making you laugh
Sending you home!

 

I hate:

Cancer
Short staffing and call-ins
Seeing you cry
Watching you in pain
Watching your family cry
Dementia induced paranoia
Hospital acquired psychosis
Having to use Haldol and restraints (as related to the above)
What smoking does to your lungs and how you can’t breath
Staff conflicts
Seeing you come back-when you wish you could just be home.

What I Should Have Said (Bus Stop)

Image

I saw you standing there

In the rain watching me,

Holding your black umbrella,

As you so practically do,

Your boots were getting wet.

Although your head was dry.

And the bus window was drenched,

And the sky was dark.

As I looked out the back window,

(We both knew I had to leave)

I smiled brightly at you.

I pressed my hands against the glass,

Then my face, I didn’t care.

And I know you thought it was the rain.

But trust me,

My cheeks were damp.

And as the bus pulled away,

As the rain poured down,

You lifted your hand and waved,

And smiled.

And in that moment I realized

My pounding heart was telling my tears,

That I had never said-

“I love you, 

My dear.” 

 

commentary for “Let Her Go”

Image

Well you only need the light when it’s burning low
… you always need the light unless you really like the dark…

Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
…or when it isn’t shining at all…

Only know you love her when you let her go
…I hope you knew that before you let her go…

Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
... you need to feel low to know how high feels…

Only hate the road when you’re missin’ home
…then its time to go home…

Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go
…then get her back.

Staring at the bottom of your glass
Hoping one day you’ll make a dream last
But dreams come slow and they go so fast

…Dreams are called dreams and not made to last…
Stop staring and dump that glass…!

You see her when you close your eyes
Maybe one day you’ll understand why
Everything you touch surely dies
…don’t worry about understanding…
… change your touch…

Staring at the ceiling in the dark
Same old empty feeling in your heart
‘Cause love comes slow and it goes so fast
…You have an empty feeling in your heart that only God can fill…
…Love can go slower if you let it…

Well you see her when you fall asleep
But never to touch and never to keep
‘Cause you loved her too much
And you dived too deep

…you can never love too much…
… why did you…

…let her go?

Doctors and Nurses

Doctors and Nurses

Image

Linked are two articles, from which all in healthcare can learn and reflect. The original article is On Breaking One’s Neck: by Dr. Arnold Relman, with a complimentary article :A Patient’s-Eye-View of Nurses by Dr. Lawrence Altman.

There are compliments in both articles for nurses, as well as warnings that should be considered.

. As quoted from the original article :On Breaking One’s Neck:

“What personal care hospitalized patients now get is mostly from nurses. In the MGHICU the nursing care was superb; at Spaulding it was inconsistent. I had never before understood how much good nursing care contributes to patients’ safety and comfort, especially when they are very sick or disabled. This is a lesson all physicians and hospital administrators should learn. When nursing is not optimal, patient care is never good.”

The review article in the New York Times, written by Dr. Altman,  brings to light the thought provoking differences between physicians and the nursing staff. Dr. Atman expresses concern at the movement towards technology, citing technology as objects that can “Deflect the doctor’s attention.”

I think that nursing as a profession should also heed this concern-does our bedside report become just a huddle in the hallway? Are we including the patient? Are we prioritizing our time between the computer and the patient?

Hopefully we are not, as nurses, using as our starting point of care the review of notes-or as Dr. Relman so memorably states:

“Lengthy notes in the computerized record, full of repetitious boilerplate language and lab data, but lacking in coherent descriptions of my medical progress, or my complaints and state of mind.”

This is referring to the MD notes-but what about our nurses’ notes? Do they adequately reflect the patient? Do they just present the data, or the whole person? I have a tendency as a nurse to at times subconsciously rely on previous documentation-but our starting point needs to be the patient, not the notes. How are we doing? Do we clarify what we saw in the record with the living person in front of us?

Another nice quote, by Dr. Altman, complimenting nurses is as follows:

“Nurses’ observations and suggestions have saved many doctors from making fatal mistakes in caring for patients. Though most physicians are grateful for such aid, a few dismiss it — out of arrogance and a mistaken belief that a nurse cannot know more than a doctor.”

I think that nurses everywhere should read these two articles and be thankful for the recognition. But we should also realize that what is wise for the doctors is wise for the nurses.

We should never forget, in this healthcare system that is changing faster and becoming more difficult every day, the patient is first-and someday the person in the bed could be me or my family.

I had a nursing instructor once that said:

When you enter a room, and you see lines, and IVs, and ‘stuff’, don’t worry about all of those lines, start at the patient, and work your way out.”

Will our patients, will we, our families, be reduced to hallway huddles and medical note jargon and technical terminology? Or will our care be about the individual, the person, with a cautious inclusion of technology as needed?

These articles provide warning signs about our healthcare and we will do well to heed them, whether doctor or nurse.

A Diverse Ramble

 

Image

Discussion swirled

Back and forth

About how some things are not

Just scientific but in fact

Unexplainable

And who could deny?

For they say

There are no atheists

In foxholes

Why would there be here?

For this is our foxhole

And truly,

There cannot be an absence

Of a Divine Order of affairs,

For the filling of the void and

The answers to the longing

That causes these questions

Is found in the One

The Logos

Who in the beginning was the Logos,

And was with God

And was God.

And because I know

That all things were created by Him and for Him…

And that by Him all things consist,

I rest

While the questions continue,

They continue sticking their heads up

Looking about

Without any armor

And I in my foxhole,

Protected and safe,

Sleep.

 

Ref: John 1, Colossians 1

 

Glimmers of Winter

My “glimmers” as brought about by the weekly writing challenge

It was odd, I thought, that the church on the corner, built of dark red brick, was light tonight. Stained glass windows, lining the sides of the church had gold beams streaming out of them, into the darkness of the street next to them. Always I had seen this church dark, like the night and the city around it, I had never seen it with light.

I had seen it in the early morning, with its chipped white steeple standing upright like a sentry. Its windows were stark in their darkness, even if the sun was shining.

I had seen it at night, with its wooden front doors, with the  stoop full of shadows, where the homeless sat, flicking their ash on the stone steps.

Tonight I saw, for the first time, the gold and red tints in the windows, the outline of a tree through the first window, with the leaves golden yellow and the trunk golden brown and I wondered why did they design a tree in the glass?

The light shown out onto the sidewalk, catching the back of a man walking away wearing a dark hat, winter coat and red snow boots. His hands were in both of his pockets and his head was bent, and I still don’t know if it was because he was cold or because he was just not used to the light.

Earlier in the week I sat on a bench in the mall, and watched a girl walk by in a short black skirt and red, high, high heels. Her long bare legs were striding with purpose as she talked rapidly on her pink sequined cell phone. I sat, with my winter coat and hat and scarf still on, and warm boots firmly in place still trying to get warm after having to park two miles away from the mall and then hike in through the cold. I wondered-how did she get through the slushy parking lot and the chilly wind to the mall without dying of hypothermia? And I really wanted to ask her but she was gone and I wouldn’t have, anyway.

I remember the bright midnight that I saw, that same night coming home when the moon was shining so bright it was like the sun in Hawaii, except it was winter and the moon. The shadows that it caused, reflecting the trees on the hard white snow and hearing in my mind the song ” I go out walking after midnight.” The crunch of my boots on the snow walking to the house because it was so cold and realizing, that if it wasn’t eleven degrees I would go out walking, but instead I curled up under my blankets and slept, at peace because of the amazing moonlight that bathed my world in a silent glow.

The Vanity of Man as Mortal – Isaac Watts

Originally posted on Thinking on Scripture:

Isaac Watts

The Vanity of Man as Mortal

Teach me the measure of my days,
Thou Maker of my frame;
I would survey life’s narrow space,
And learn how frail I am.
 
A span is all that we can boast,
An inch or two of time;
Man is but vanity and dust
In all his flower and prime.
 
See the vain race of mortals move
Like shadows o’er the plain;
They rage and strive, desire and love,
But all the noise is vain.
 
Some walk in honor’s gaudy show,
Some dig for golden ore;
They toil for heirs, they know not who,
And straight are seen no more.
 
What should I wish or wait for, then,
From creatures earth and dust?
They make our expectations vain,
And disappoint our trust.
 
Now I forbid my carnal hope,
My fond desires recall;
I give my mortal interest up,
And…

View original 14 more words