ER goes in cycles for me. Some days I swear the troll douche parade made a pit stop in my ER, or that someone in triage or charge is pissed at me, because everyone I deal with has some kind of hidden agenda or just a totally rude, shitty attitude. Other days I take care of mostly really nice people and I genuinely feel a sense of well being about my decision to become a nurse-I think I've mentioned before that this seems to happen whenever I'm burned out or just at my wit's end with assholery.
Unfortunately, we nurses, like most other humans, seem to focus on our negative experiences, so one remarkably awful person can pretty much ruin your day. But every now and then, you get a patient who is so incredibly nice and wonderful that the rest of humanity gets a free pass for the day as you bask in the afterglow of their awesomeness.
I had a super independent, sassy, adorable elderly lady the other day that has to have been one of the most remarkably awesome patients of my career. She had sustained a moderate, but not life threatening, injury doing some kind of yard work that she definitely could have gotten away with delegating at her age, but being badass and all she was having none of it. She had the cutest smile and she would just grin and laugh when anyone came into her room. She was in her 80s but still hilarious and witty as hell, and was the type of patient who was so grateful for just a warm blanket or a gauze dressing and made a huge fuss over the slightest effort on my part.
After she was discharged, I got her bundled up and I wheeled her out to her son's car. We got her up in the seat and I waved goodbye and told them to have a good night. Without even thinking about it, she smiled and said "Thanks to you, honey, we will." Best thing anyone's said to me in a long time. She totally made my day. Obviously I wish more patients were like this, but even one is enough to break you out of the worst of funks.