I spent 30 years in an ER holding my bladder, wanting a muscle relaxant for my aching back, got stabbed, kicked in the face with a dirty boot, had to take down a crazy person before security got to the bedside, screamed at by doctors, screamed at by patients, screamed at by co-workers, screamed at by family members, cried with families of dying patients, and taken patients off the ventilator either to die or to breathe on their own.
Ate when I could, stood hurting when I had to pee/poop so damned bad it hurt, yet so did the person I was caring for.
Listened to doctors & nurses swear at patients, watch co-workers swing at patients.
I have worn black charcoal on my white shoes & my uniforms of all colors. Thank god for surgery, because I could always get clean scrubs on a nightly basis because of pee, poop, projectile vomiting, projectile charcoal vomiting with chocolate syrup mixed in it. Blood, hell, you can get blood out of everything if you know how. Slipped in it on the floor, soaked in my scrubs with it, holding wounds to keep it inside a patient, washing a young child's booboo.
Doing vaginal exams and finding all kinds of neat things where they don't belong and hearing the funniest stories how they got there. Same thing with rectal exams.
Trying to teach pregnant moms why pre-natal care is more important than drugs or booze or gambling.
Seeing the same faces over & over again because the slit to the wrist, neck, artery any other place didn't work the first, 2nd or 3rd time. Explaining to a suicidal patient How to Kill Yourself properly so it takes the next time.
Teaching patients how to take their meds correctly versus teaching patients that herbal meds are what regular meds are made out of and that this heart med is the same as this herbal med and that's why patient keeps passing out.
Ah the joys of ER/Trauma nursing. I could go on, so I will.
Catholic hospitals with doctors that refuse to help a fetal demise (deceased baby inside the womb) expell itself, because the doctor is Catholic and thinks he/she is performing an abortion instead of assisting a miscarriage. Catholic hospitals that turn patients away because they don't perform abortions, even tho the mother is experience a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage).
Seeing patients turned away from ER because of the chest pain that is so severe. Watching and listening to a triage travel nurse tell a family member that the patient must not be in that much pain if the wife brought him into the ER instead of coming in by ambulance. More important, watching the same travel triage nurse get sued for negligence because the patient was having an acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and needed immediate attention, only to have to wait in lobby for over 35 minutes before being brought back into a cardiac ER room.
I could go on and on about the pros and cons of nursing. May is Nurses Month. Hug a nurse. Nurses are healers. Nurses do the dirty work that doctors don't want to touch. Many nurses will go out of their way to help you. Many only go into the profession for the money. Many work for pennies because they went into nursing to help others, they are the caring ones. They are the ones who are treated like crap but are there when someone needs them the most.
The ones that go into nursing only for the money will get a rude awakening. Management does a lot for the profession of nursing. However, management works long hours and will eventually get stabbed in the back either money wise or co-worker wise. Putting in all of those long hours with no time and a half to show for those hours, because they are salaried. Salaried means you work til you get the job done, no matter how many hours you spend on the job. You do it, or you lose that job. You bust your ass to change numbers, get better pay for your nurses, better numbers of nurse patient ratios.
Rebel Ruthi Ranting & Raving
May 2, 2012
I became a nurse to care for people to help them heal. I ended my career teaching physicians how to do their jobs without defrauding the insurance industry. Nursing did me well. I learned a lot and I gave back a lot. I know of no better career that is more rewarding than being a NURSE.
But more importantly, being a TRAUMA NURSE because this is where you get to experience the best and the worst of nursing. A Trauma Nurse can work in any other area of the hospital, because the experience received in this unit, prepares you to work in any other area of the hospital. The critical care skills enable you to take over on any other floor, because it all starts or ends, in the emergency room.