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Nurses Gone Nice

I suppose this is a silly spin-off of Kevin MD’s “Doctors Gone Wild” category. “Chocoholic” submitted a story about how nurses helped her during a particularly bad time:

Over a year ago, I was admitted to ICU after a suicide attempt. Although I was only there for twelve hours, the saintliness of some of the nurses stick in my mind.

I arrived late at night, tired and confused. The first thing that struck me was the calm and quiet of the place. I always imagined the ICU to be noisy and frantic like in the movies. I think the fact that it was only a small unit in a country area helped. The only sounds were a breathing machine and the occasional beep, and someone making coffee. After the frenetic activity of the emergency department, where I had spent the past few hours, it was bliss, and I immediately fell asleep in the extremely soft, warm bed!

The first thing I found wonderful about the nurses was something simple, yet wonderful to me. While in the emerency department, I had to use a pan, and due to the fact that they had stuck me on a drip, I had to go quite often!! After waking in the night and holding on for as long as possible, I buzzed the ICU nurse and told her I needed the loo. She disconnected the monitors, unplugged the drip and said, “OK, let’s go.” I was amazed. Something so simple, yet so dignifying. I was suffering no symptoms, and felt completely well in myself and was stable, so she had let me up. The reason I felt like this is that in the emergency department, I felt so vulnerable and like all my dignity had been stripped away using a pan. We chatted about life as we walked, and I complained that the drip was worse to push than a shopping trolley, and she told me I was a card!

The second nurse I had came on around breakfast. After seeing my plate of watery, tasteless scrambled eggs on cold toast, she said, “You can’t eat that,” and made me some hot peanut butter toast. Later that morning, she sat with me and we talked. I told her about my life, where I was from, what I was studying, about my life living on-campus at the university and the crazy things students get up to. I told her about the emotional hurt I was suffering and how I was frightened of the future, and frightened to go back to university. I told her about a song I had heard on the radiio that morning that had epitomised the way I felt and I told her of my passion for music. After my 18 hours of monitoring was up, she took me and my drip out onto the veranda so I could use my mobile to catch up on things at the university.

When she delivered me, fully dressed and freshened and neat (the way I always like to dress and feel), to the Psych ward that afternoon, she stopped and took my hand.

“You are an inspiration,” she told me, “You are a beautiful, sensitive determined person. I just hope now you can get the help you need, and I wish you luck in finishing your degree, which I know you will.”

When she finished, she started to tear up. I hope she knows that I am finishing my degree, and loving every minute of it, and I remain greatful to this day of all the nurses – in Emergency, ICU and Psych-and their compassion, humanity and sensitivity.

That was sweet, huh? It’s nice to know that we’ve really helped someone out, even if they don’t or can’t tell us at the time.

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“Hot peanut butter toast”??

ABSOLUTELY! Yum. You haven’t tried it? Just toast some good bread and spread it with crunchy peanut butter while it’s still hot. If its good p-butter it will get a lovely warm peanutty taste–much better than margarine and with a lot of satisfying protein. Good warm comfort food for patients.

So, what brought you to the hospital today?

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  • profileI am Gina. I have been a nurse for 15 years, first in med/surg, then CVICU, inpatient dialysis, CCU and now hospice. This blog is about my experiences as a nurse, and the experiences of others in the healthcare system - patients, nurses, doctors, paramedics. We all have stories!

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