I'm Kelsy. I'm a nurse. I work the night shift on a crazy surgical unit and you would not believe the stuff that happens when sick people sleep. To hear more about that and other stories read on....

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's a tug-o-war

You know sometimes when you're unhappy with what's in front of you and you want more, and in that selfish, vain attempt to get more of what you want from something, you only realize it got worse and you want to go back to what you had before.  Hindsight 20/20?  Does that sentence make sense at all?
Well this happens quite frequently in the nursing world.  You have this patient thats being a bit of a nuisance.  They give you a hard time all night.  I need this.  I need that.  You were 3.7 minutes late with my pain pills.  Why won't you let me eat...I'm hungry...who cares if I choke when I swallow...I want to eat.  As a nurse of these kind of patients before, I've become immune to the rudeness, the impatience.  Nothing you can say or do will change how I care for you.  I may have to get a little blunt with you, but only because I'm trying to protect you.  So when you walk in with the next shift coming on and the patient realizes they have Nurse Ratchett for the next 12 hrs, they have a change of heart, let me tell you.
So I had this guy.....you're starting to get used to my stories starting like that, huh?  Okay, the guy...real sick guy.  Looked 20 years older than he was.  Back-woods, you know, like the majority of my patients.  He was not a newby to the hospital experience.  He knew how our schedules work, how our narcotics come out of a locked machine, and where to get food.  Unfortunately, I could not appease any of his many requests because of a doctors order or some other odd reason.  I put some oxygen tubing in his nose to better help him breath and his response was, "(choice word), how am I gonna pick my nose?"  Many responses flew through my mind, but I kept my mouth shut.
Finally the long night was drawing to a close and the sun was coming up.  I stayed kind, encouraging, and tried to meet as many of his needs as I could, even though it never seemed like enough(a common feeling I have during a long 12-hr shift).  The lab was in drawing his blood, and he decided to get all panicky, with a heart rate in the 130's (which isn't bad, but higher than before) he was breathing real hard and to put it bluntly he was freaking out.  I was able to call the doc, get some medication to help him relax and then we sent him off for some tests.  As they were wheeling him away he yelled back at me "Are you back to work tonight?"  No, I said. "Well, who's gonna take care of me?"
It actually broke my heart a little.  After the difficult patient he was all night.  Cursing at me.  Lecturing me on why he should be able to eat.  Demanding pain pills.  Every outward sign would tell you he was not a fan of me and he would prefer a different nurse, yet there he was...asking if I'd come back to take care of him that night.  Aww, I knew he had a soul in there somewhere.

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