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Posts Tagged ‘Compassion’

Reality Unscripted

I spent last week as a camp nurse in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  For the most part, I spent my days giving kids their meds, removing splinters, putting band-aids on scrapes, and generally being a mom.  It didn't take as much skill as a ready smile and encouraging word.

Then Wednesday night hit.  It was the beginning of a 24-hour period that had my adrenaline [...]
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Reality Unscripted

It happened last week.  I was sitting at my desk, minding my own business, doing my nurse thing.  Suddenly, my heart started acting strange.

I thought it was PVC's, which I have occasionally, but it felt a little different.  I took the stethoscope that was hanging around my neck and listened to my heart.  Wow, I thought, that's pretty fast.  As I counted the beats, I [...]
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Reality Unscripted

Have I ever told you the story of why I left Pediatric Intensive Care?

I walked into work one day and one of our little patients went into respiratory arrest right as I finished getting report on her.  We spent the next 12 hours saving the life of this poor little girl.

The patient had been born with problems (though all these years later I have no [...]
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Interacting With Patients
An interview with Kathy Quan, RN, BSN, PHN, on managing patients’ families.

“I don’t think we should continue heroic measures.”
“I want a third opinion!”
“That’s not the way the last nurse did it.”
“My sister needs more water, more pain medication, and clean sheets…now!”
“How long does my son have to live?”

Questions. Capricious emotions. Absurd demands. More questions. And plain cold criticism. Often serving families of patients is more taxing than treating the patients. Kathy Quan, a veteran nurse [...]
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Interacting With Patients
How a new nurse serves cranky patients.

On the day of his surgery, Mr. Grumpafagus, the quintessential grouchy old man, was wickedly crabby. He griped about the cold food, the stiff bed, the spin on television, government conspiracies, and the overpaid doctors.

Most nurses avoided him, busying themselves with pre-op. Even the anesthesiologist warned Mallory, a second year surgical nurse, “Watch out for this one.”

Earlier, Mallory had picked up that he was in [...]
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Interacting With Patients
Staying professional in the midst of suffering.

It was one of those days in the pediatric intensive care unit you’d love to forget.

One child, a 6-month-old girl, was in a vegetative state, both blind and deaf.  Her mother decided it was too painful to have any contact with her and had stopped visiting. The little girl’s father wanted everything done to save her.

One morning, five minutes after Jana, a second year nurse, [...]
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