Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why It's Worth It

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.


  1. Ah, that's awesome. Isn't it fricken amazing to take care of actually sick people who need to be there, want to get better, will let you help them, and are actually grateful? It's like a miracle!!

  2. I love it when I have a patient like that. It does warm the heart and make me feel like nursing is worth it once again.

  3. "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. "

    Love this! applies to life, too, I think. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This year I have been ill and spent the last 9 months in and out of hospitals. From being the nurse to being the patient was a brand new experience for me.

    I remember how really nice it used to be to have an agreeable, friendly and just all around wonderful patient. I strove for that happy medium myself while being a patient.

    Remembering to say a simple "thank you" to all who cared for me... I was most always rewarded with a "your welcome" and a big smile.

  5. Raised to say thank you for even small considerations, I am astounded when I hear you talk of how no one hardly ever says thank you. It blows me away when you talk of how they berate you and give you shite beyond my wildest nightmares. How can someone come to you with a serious problem, have you diagnose and likely fi it and then walk out without being grateful ?~!

    I want to take this chance to say thank you to all the health care personnel who have ever helped me or my loved ones. Ever. Always. Namaste

  6. ahhh! it´s so funny that what you write is so universal. I live and work in norway, and maybe even more here, because everything is free( people expect more maybe?) people tend to be rude and bad towards the nurses. But every now and then though, someone comes around that makes it all worth it! I love these people. I too had a old lady not to long ago ( senil, very senil )who told me after I´de helped her get washed up and dressed in the morning " how lucky you must feel young lady! pretty hair... and (!) pretty shoes! at the same time" and then she touched my hair and smiled.:) made my day! you too mady my day! thanx for sharing your ups and downs! <3 R