Nursing Voices

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Nurse is Out

Oh dear, has it really been that long?


The nurse is out feeding her face and running around participating in other acts of holiday gluttony.

Be back soon.
Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Get. A. Clue.

As per usual after my third night in a row, I'm feeling a little punch drunk and slap happy this morning. (Consider this fair warning that the following post should be read with a VERY sarcastic tone of voice... if you're in the habit of reading posts out loud, that is.)

To all potential patients who choose to shoot up, snort, smoke or drink substances that are a) not legal and/or b) not really recommended during pregnancy (or the rest of your life for that matter):

No matter how dumb or tired your OB triage nurse looks, she is not dumb enough to believe the following really convenient lies that you are about to tell.

-- your UDS tested positive for marijuana because your sister-in-law smokes pot in your house

-- your UDS tested positive for cocaine because you were with a bunch of friends that were smoking crack

Girlfriend, get a clue. And get some new friends.


Well, you get the idea. Enough sarcasm.

It's been a weekend full of weirdness and busyness... both the good and the bad. Absolutely exhausting, but very fulfilling. I don't know about everyone else that I worked with, but I hope that they walked out of the building this morning with a tired smile and a sense of accomplishment, as I did.

Is there any other profession in which the juxtaposition of such wildly different emotions and realities is so striking every time you come to work? To feel so helpless in the face of unknowns and uncertainties, yet so full of hope for a smooth labor, a good outcome. Sometimes I feel the fear creep up on me... there are SO many things that can (and sometimes will) go wrong. How can we possibly make it through?

Yet we always do. We are never alone. There is always another willing set of hands, another discerning eye, another reassuring word.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sweet and Bitter

Today it's not so much bone tired as totally wired.

There's nothing quite like the feeling of helping a patient who is completely out of control because her labor is barreling like a runaway train towards delivery. A very anxious first-time mom who delivers a couple of hours after feeling the first contraction is going to be understandably agitated by the fact that her uterus chooses to contract every one minute in order to expel the baby, wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am! However, screaming at the top of your lungs for your mommy does not (contrary to the popular belief of many patients whose labors progress this quickly), NOT help to get your baby out.

While a delivery like that can be completely draining, it is also exquisitely intense... working and coaching with the patient to breathe and to push, allowing her body to do its work, forcing her to look into my eyes so that she can stay focused and not let the fear take over. I certainly cannot take credit for what these patients accomplish... it is awe-inspiring.

Unfortunately, the babe was not at all impressed with the process of slamming through the pelvis and into a cold, bright and, according to this babe, rather tiresome world. After working with babe for a few minutes, we got pinkness and a few squawks, but the dusky color quickly returned as babe decided breathing isn't all it's cracked up to be, and after working with babe for almost an hour... got tranferred to Neo. Disheartening. Hopefully babe will turn around after basking in the O's for a while, but it was sad to separate mom from her sweet child after all that.

That's the Sweet and the Bitter in my world this morning.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Bone Tired

I am not even kidding.

When I finally get myself a friggin' pedometer, I am totally going to get on here and brag. I must have walked/run at least 8 miles last night.

And when we're already crashing a patient who's bleeding out, is it really necessary to clue me in on the fact that the patient who was 8 cm when she got to triage is (oopsy) also BREECH?

So what if I'm in charge? At that point, I just don't wanna know.

Realized at 5:00am that I never ate lunch.

Too late now. I'm sure I'll make up for it at a later date. You know how we nurses like to enable each others' eating habits at the holidays!

Off to bed... I feel a coma coming.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I am a Nurse in Real Life... And You?

As I gorged myself on primetime TV tonight, a novel idea occurred.

What is the big deal with the way that nurses are portrayed on television? Get over it.

Granted, most of us are probably already over it (or were never under it), but seriously. The Center for Nursing Advocacy has an interesting and aggressive take on the issue. My question is, why does there need to be an issue? The Center's website riles against popular medical dramas, like Grey's Anatomy and ER, for grossly misrepresenting the role that real nurses play in real life.

Therein lies the thing. TV is not real life.

I enjoyed the shows I watched tonight... for their entertainment value. For the laughs and the tears. TV is a form of entertainment. Real life, it is not.

I watched a pair of TV "cops" conducting an investigation; their laughable interrogation of a suspect, highly contrived police conversations are completely stereotypical, but that's okay because... it's TV.

I watched a newly pregnant TV character, whose doctor told her at 12 weeks that he may be able to determine the sex of the baby on ultrasound. Uh-huh... NOT. Except on TV. She then proceeded to stuff her face with every morsel of food in sight for the rest of the episode. Kind of annoying portrayal of a fairly inaccurate pregnancy stereotype. Oh, well... it's TV.

And so.... hmmm. While I admire the Center's noble attempts to "increase public understanding of nursing", I'm over it. I'm comfortable with what and who I am, no matter how it may perceived by the public or portrayed in the media. And you?