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This is why nurses have a bad rep

I took care of a woman who has had the crappiest medical life. She is a nurse as well, but has been through cancer, amputations, multiple infections in one “stump” that caused her to have a blood infection (“sepsis”) and become hemodynamically unstable (Blood pressure 60!), thus requiring the fine services of the CCU. By the time I got there for my shift, she was muchly improved and I had a lovely time with her. She was actually very cheerful, smiled a lot, and had a great sense of humor. Quite inspiring.

Anyway, she’s on fairly heavy doses of pain medication (you would be too, if you had people sticking 1.5 feet of gauze up a hole in your thigh every day). Her last scheduled dose for me was at 11pm. At 10:30, I went in to give it to her. She was fast asleep. I said her name, but she didn’t wake up. So I tiptoed out and tried again at 10:45. Still no response. So I had to, like, majorly wake her up by shaking her. Yes, I woke up a perfectly peacefully sleeping patient to give her pain medicine. (At least it wasn’t a sleeping pill)

Now I’d like to defend myself by saying that I *had* to wake her up… otherwise her scheduled pain medicine would have been late, her blood levels of it would have dropped, and we might have had a really hard time getting control of it again.

So, in addition to not playing with equipment that is attached directly to your heart, next time you are a patient and your nurse wakes you up to give you pain medicine, be extra happy that she cares enough to make sure that you will be pain-free when you next wake up! :-)

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Comments

i really do understand that nurses are way over worked stayed at highline hospital overnight for severe gerd they drew blood all night one lady that drew my blood said this is gonna hurt and didnt put the needle in my hand but jabbed it in and said i told you so i have a huge bruise and it really hurt a lot i was very angry all the rest of the people gave okay shots she was very sweet as she warned me people like this make it hard on good nurses thanx lori



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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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