Tag Archives: Nursing

The Kind of Nurse I am

“What kind of nurse are you?”

I was asked this by the errant wife of a patient I was caring for on a step down cardiac unit last year. The patient had warned me about her personality prior to her arrival to visit him. She was angry the doctor had decided to discharge him with a low grade temperature.

Honestly it was the tone of her voice that took me by astonishment than anything else. I shortly turned tearful as I could not reach the hospitalist in charge of his care. My manager was off and even if she was around I doubt I would get much support from her.

I had resigned, giving my almost three weeks notice a few days before. I was about to start my first nurse practitioner position. I should not have felt so desolate having endured many stressful and blissful moments in the seven years of being a nurse thus far. However the woman’s comments pierced something. It made me feel like a failure despite how many people I have helped before them.

If I ever met them again I know what my answer would be now nearly a year later.  I am a nurse that gives it her all. I am one to wear my heart on my sleeve. I am protective over my patients as if they are family members. I have spent sleepless nights wondering if my patients would survive the night, Would they still be around the next morning when I returned for my next shift?

So yes I may not always have every answer or be on time for everything you need.  However overall I will advocate for you and provide the best care possible in the time I have you under my care.

Many patients appreciate the care myself and other have provided. Unfortunately some forget we are humans too. We may not be superhuman, but as nurses we try our best to be your superheros without a cape.

Sonali Dhir is a new nurse practitioner. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and close friends. She has been a nurse for almost eight years and has spent almost a year working in retail clinic as a nurse practitioner.Besides caring for others, she is an avid reader, always looking for new knowledge.

On Being A Hospital Virgin

 

I’m told I was born in a hospital, though I have no memory of it.  I do, however, have a brief newspaper story identifying me upon my birth as the 100,000th registered patient at Madison General Hospital, so I guess it really happened.

For the next 63 years, I was in good health and had no reason to be hospitalized. Then, in 2015, I developed a nasty bladder infection that triggered a four-day hospitalization for IV fluids and antibiotics. I received excellent care, but it was a totally new and sometimes confounding experience for this hospital virgin.

My guide through this unfamiliar terrain was a wonderful nurse named Jane. We developed a nice rapport over numerous visits checking vital signs, drawing blood, administering medications, and chatting on a wide range of topics.  There was, however, one thing I had to learn the hard way.

I awoke in the middle of my second night with a strong urge to get to the bathroom.  With impeccable logic, I unclamped the IV line from my right arm so I could make my way across the room.

In no time, there was blood everywhere.  I pulled the emergency cord and Jane came running in.  Once she realized what had happened and remedied the situation, we had a good laugh over my mistake.  The guy who had to clean up after me, however, did not share our sense of humor.

Little did I know that the bond I formed with Jane would be rekindled a year later when I was hospitalized with acute myeloid leukemia. More on that frightening story later. For now, I’ll just say that having Jane as my nurse once again was very reassuring as she administered my first chemotherapy treatment and I lost my hospital virginity for good.

 

Steve Buechler is a recently retired sociology professor and cancer survivor.  In 2016, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and successfully treated with chemotherapy, radiation, and a stem cell transplant. He has since become a big advocate of writing stories as a survival strategy in the face of life-threatening illness.  His own story is available in “How Steve Became Ralph: A Cancer/Stem Cell Odyssey (with Jokes),” his forthcoming memoir from Written Dream Publishing.