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Rookie Wit & Wisdom

I am drained: mentally, physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

One month at the PICU, I’m so tired. It's been the kind of month that keeps you up all night. If you finally get to sleep, you wake up from a disturbing dream.

You smile and joke the whole day at work, but subconsciously you're bleeding from the gut. And there are no sutures to keep the wound closed. Really, there is no time for that. There is no time to wallow in pain and grief for the patient you just lost--because another sick kid is being wheeled in from the ER.

You gulp back the lump in your throat and blink away the tears. The heart has to stay intact. If it doesn't, everything else will fall apart.

Sometimes I wish I could just not show up at work. But I know I can't, and I won't. They need someone to be there for them. Someone to wipe away the crusted blood from their young skin; someone to remove the tubes from their mouth; someone to wrap them up; someone to help their parents through the whole process of death because they are too emotionally shaken to do it by themselves.

They need someone who cares, even if it hurts. Showing up and being there—it’s the least we can do.

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3 Responses to “Drained”

  1. Mr Ian Says:

    Hi Anon,
    Not wanting to analyse your post – but it sounds as if you’re drained!
    It also sounds as if you’re looking for a morale boost and I don’t blame you.
    I work with psych and nurse colleagues often say to me – “How can you do that? I’d never be able to work in psych”
    I simply tell them – because I couldn’t bear to work with kids in pain.

    I can’t take away the physical, emotional or psychological drain it brings for you – but to boost your spiritual resolve – I tip my hat to you (and perhaps a toast or 10) and am grateful for you doing something I simply couldn’t.

    One of the toughest jobs I could imagine for a nurturing profession.

  2. Anna Banana Says:

    I’m a nursing student (almost done), and during my first few weeks of peds. my pt. passed away, and the fam. was also friends of my fam. I didn’t know what to do because inside I was devastated, but still had a job to get back to. I spent the morning with two little-little ones who needed some extra TLC while their parents weren’t there. It felt so much better when I could finally talk to my inst. and another nurse about it.
    I like working with kiddos way more then being in “adult world!” People think I’m crazy because they “could never work with sick kids – that’s takes someone special.” So, you’re someone special, doing a special job not cut out for “just anyone.”
    Hang in there – and maybe take a good long vacation for some R&R to re-energize! :o)

  3. A Critical Care RN Says:

    I started off in the PICU and I must say that my two months there were draining as draining can be. Since day 1 I wanted to work there and I flew across the country to do so! From getting every single bubble out of the IV line, dealing with mothers and fathers who feel guilty because for some reason beyond them their kid became injured, to just feeling miserable in general because we had to treat the same kid that had a heart rate and a bp but no brain function and the parents saw that as hope. So…I moved to the ER which was a lot of fun and now I’m in the ICU which I love…I never bring anything home, when I get home I close the door to my room and just fall asleep until the next day when I can dedicate completely to my love ones. I only talk about work to coworkers when we go out…if you’re feeling drained you might need a break, try floating to a different unit for a couple weeks. It might be challenging because you might have no clue what you’re doing but it will get your mind focused elsewhere. Just my thought.

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