Im not even sure where the past few months have gone. Im sort of living my own version of Ground Hogs Day….. I haven’t been on facebook nearly as much as I once was. I haven’t really spent any time out for girls night. The kids have been busy with baseball, soccer, lacrosse, and something they call school. Watching someone I love lose the love of their life/father to their children/best friend/lover/provider/rock has hands down rocked me to my core. I find myself thinking about death a lot more. The “what if” scenarios.
It has changed me as a nurse. I have taken care of many patients that have had traumatic things happen to them. I’ve greeted friends and families of these patients in the hallway and escorted them to the bedside of their loved one. There is nothing that could’ve prepared me for the day my co-worker escorted me to the bedside of someone I loved. We both knew his outcome. We both knew it would be my last time seeing him on this side of Heaven. She held my hand. She had no words only her presence. Since that day I have been a different nurse.
Different in my perspective. I make it a point to make contact with the family as soon as I can and tell them what I can. I keep reminding my busy physicians that they need to update the family until the family is updated. I HUG PEOPLE! Yep. I actually reach out and bring in a family member close. Let them cry on my shoulder if they need to. Im kind of ashamed to admit it but before I would just run and page the chaplain to handle crying family members. Like “Are those tears? Ok wait right here the chaplain will be here to help you with those.”! Taking care of a patient means so much more than just that patients physical body.
Recently I had this sweet mother stop me in the cafeteria to tell me how her daughter was doing and how thankful she was for me. She said, “I was freaking out and you just talked me through it.”. I just put myself in her shoes. Im a mother of 5 kids. I cant imagine being woken up to a phone call that you need to go the hospital because your child has been injured. Some how being able to be apart of these peoples lives during the time of tragedy helps me heal. The woman that stopped me in the cafeteria most certainly made up for the other patient that just cussed me out……
To all my nurses out there. I encourage you to try and connect with your patients and their families. You may never know the impact you may have on someone’s life during a very tragic time for them….