Caring from the heart is nursing

Yesterday I wrote about a frustrating moment I had. A reader said that nursing is caring from the heart. I agree with that.

Since going to the ICU,
most of my patients can’t talk to me.
But one was A/O x3, could speak, though didn’t seem normal quite yet.

He was what I called “call-bell happy.”
Too hot, too cold, not comfortable–
it can all happen in a matter of 10 minutes.

1st night- “can I have a sleeping pill?” “Ice, ice, ice” “blankets on, blankets off”

2nd night- slept throughout the night but I’d catch him when he woke up and waved at me to come over. “hurts, hurts, hurts” “your bum?” He nods. I turned him to the other side and boom! He was fast asleep again.

3rd night- he looked like a new man!! Ahh the wonders of a good night rest.

He waved me over to fix him up at change of shift. He proceeded, “thank you. I knew that the moment I looked at you that you’re caring from the heart. You have made a big difference for me.”

I was a little bit shocked that he spoke so normally. We continued to talk and he spoke about another hospital. I asked him about his experience there. His eyes lit up and said, “You should be working there! There’s where you belong. You see that everyone collaborates and works so seamlessly as teams.”

I was taken back a little bit because I felt my unit had members who worked well as teams too. Does that mean he implied that here was worse than there?

He continued, “Leave your information. I’m friends with the head doctor there. I’ll get you a job there. I will. Include your specialty.” And he repeated this several times before he went to sleep.

Unfortunately, he was a step down patient and a critical care patient needed to get transferred into his room. So he left. And a new patient went into his place.

I never did leave my information because I felt that it was a little unprofessional but also, would he really remember? He still has to go to rehab to recover and it would be odd to have my information amongst his personal belongings. I’m not sure if I would’ve gone- I kinda like where I am now. Plus I’m just starting here!!

Another patient- I also had her for 2 nights with a couple days off in between. On the 3rd night she just came back from a procedure. She saw me and reached out for me. The PACU nurse said, “aww she really likes you!” I squeezed the patient’s hand and she squeezed back.

I think that says everything.

Posted in ICU Nursing, Journal.
  • james

    Jessica,

    OK, now I’m getting hooked on your blog…I never read blogs…What hospital was he talking about???? I have seen screaming between Nurses at Lincoln Hospital, some Nurses seemed to be HIDING at NYP! Where oh Where do we find REAL information on finding the perfect workplace for ourselves?

    FYI, even if you’re NOT interested…I am 55, coming into Nursing after several careers. Received an ADN from CUNY and licensed in mid-2013….I am presently working in TV at CBS….I expected my job to be phased out by now, but it goes on!…I would love to be able to work as an RN in Med-Surg three days a week and continue my TV work Th-Su….My fear is that I’ll have to leave TV during any orientation period and my job may not be waiting when I finish…

    Keep it up, I’m getting back to reading your other updates!

    • Hi James,
      I have to admit — finding real information about finding the perfect workplace is difficult! Glassdoor.com and allnurses.com has some information but most information is found through hearsay. In general, you’ll want to look for a hospital with Magnet status (http://www.nursecredentialing.org/findamagnethospital.aspx) but even then it’s difficult to say because each floor/unit has its own culture. I have a classmate who hated her unit but in the same hospital, someone loved her unit.

      I recommend that during the interview, if possible, ask the nurses working on a specific unit how they like working there and how they feel about the culture there. Notice the facial expressions.

      The hospital that patient was referring to is Memorial Sloan Kettering.

      As for a specific schedule, each unit is different requirements. Typically, you will be able to pick your own schedule every 4 weeks. However, you will probably have to work two weekends each month. On my unit, we require 3 weekend days and 1 Friday. On another unit, the 3 weekend days are already scheduled for every other weekend. At another hospital, I heard 3 weekend days and 1 Monday. At another hospital, it’s every other weekend and every four weeks you must work 4 days a week (instead of the typical 3 days a week).

      As for keeping your TV work and potentially losing your job, maybe if it’s possible to bunch your vacation time together so that you’re on ‘vacation’ during your orientation. Orientation is typically 3 weeks-4 weeks in a classroom. Then you should be able to resume your tv position (that’s so cool you work at CBS!! What do you do there???! I love Big Bang Theory and Elementary).

      • James Carroll

        Vacation!? Hah! I’ve been per-diem at CBS local news for 15 years. Union benefits but no promises. They could can me tomorrow! I do other shows too, After years on Broadway and Opera, I wished I could get a sit-com or work SNL regularly. That time has passed.
        I have been working EVERY weekend my entire adult life. We shall see what comes next. Thanks so much for the tidbits, I have to network better! My BSN should be done by August, no time like now to start.
        Happy St. Patrick’s Day, would a little green color in the NS bag be so bad?

        Best,

        James

        • Wow that sounds so interesting! I think if you can’t advance in your current job that you ought to hop to other networks who will value your work more highly. Sounds like CBS is stringing you along! But I guess for now just focus on one thing at a time. Once you’re more comfortable in the nursing field, you work on another tv network if cbs let’s you off. Kudos to you and your ambitions. Keep it up! 🙂