|Our family dog passed away last week. His name was Dylan and he was 12 1/2. He was a combination black lab and Rottweiler. He was a good boy.|
I tried not to get too attached because he's not our first dog and I know how it hurts when they go. But, I failed.
He was my walking companion, my motivation to get out the door. He was guardian of our house and yard, protecting against all forms of cats and dogs. He loved people, I think he believed himself one. He was best friends to my grandchildren, especially Elijah, who is seven.
He came to our house as a puppy, a refugee when our son couldn't take him to a new apartment, and he moved into our hearts.
He had 12 good, healthy years before he started having problems. He went for his walk, very slowly, on his last day. He died in his home, peacefully, in his sleep.
Logic tells me that he was a dog and that dogs don't live forever but unfortunately logic doesn't play a role in emotions. Love is love and healing will take time.
As nurses we see people every day who are experiencing loss, of health or life. In his last gift to me Dylan reminds me to treat them all with the greatest compassion.
My sister-in-law Marianne said it well, "Dylan has left big paws to fill."
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Our common welfare should come first; personal progress for the greatest number depends upon unity. (Tradition 1)
|Last night I went to a Michael Buble concert with my wife. She loved it. Don't get me wrong, he's a great singer and he put on a terrific show but let's be honest, the majority of the men in the audience were there because some lady wanted to go. |
Earlier this year I brought my 7 year old grandson to the Justin Biber movie.
We do these things for those we love.
I've covered shifts for coworkers so they could attend events that were important to them, I've stayed late to help someone catch up or because the next shift would be short, I've gone in early for the same reason. We all have. We do things for those we care about, we set aside our own needs because we care.
The bargaining committee has started to meet. We are looking at the surveys and discussing each issue. There are over 400 nurses who will be covered by our contract. We know from time to time we will disagree about the relative importance of each issue or the best way to resolve things. There will be arguments.
This is what I believe -it is our diversity of opinion and our ability to discuss and even argue, that makes us strong. You do not have to agree to have a voice.
We all grew up in families or knew of families where siblings fought like cats and dogs. Invariably the families who fought the most were the ones who would defend each other the most vigorously if a threat came from outside their family.
So, our members will discuss and at times disagree and even argue amongst ourselves, but it will make us stronger. That is how it will be in our family.
But there is no doubt in my mind,
After we discuss, we will set aside our differences, we will come to consensus, and we will stand together, united and strong!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
What is a "calling?"
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
|Today was another busy one in the ED. I won't go into details but one of my patients had to be flown to Hartford and another had to go to the OR for emergency surgery.|
We have a 33 bed main ED and what I like to call "pseudo beds". The pseudo beds have names like 6a, 8a, hall 3, hall 10, etc. They are every nook and crannie of the ED that a stretcher will fit into. They were all in use today. That means that at no time did I have less than 5 patients. Every other nurse was in the same predicament, so expecting help was unreasonable.
Now, 5 patients might not seem overwhelming but you have to remember that they arrive with symptoms, not a diagnosis. They need IV lines, blood draws, EKGs, X Rays, etc. On days like this the doctors are backed up with work so we need to use our clinical judgment to initiate protocols and order tests and meds we deem appropriate.
That autonomy is one of the things that makes the practice of ED nursing so rewarding, but it also makes it tiring.
At the end of a day like this one I'm both exhausted and satisfied, in that I know I made a difference.
A day like today is also not highly unusual, which is also both tiring and satisfying.
All the same, I hope tomorrow is easier.
(ps Friday was not better)
Thursday, June 2, 2011
First of all, look at the word "triage". It's French for "to sort". In a profession dominated by Latin root words, it's French! It's mispronounced often enough that we call the triage nurse the "tree hag" nurse. Working in triage is also called being sent to the box, short for penalty box, because after a shift of listening to 50 people explain to you why they're the sickest person alive, you realize that you must have offended the charge nurse in some way.
In our triage, people fill out a green slip of paper with their name, the time, and what is the reason for their visit. These are precious. One of my favorites is "sick". (Thanks for narrowing that down for us). Others include, "my tutu hurts", "I want a pregnancy test", "my doctor said to come", "blank stuck in my blank", and "my doctor won't give me pain meds", just to name a few.
I was not born with the ability to spell. (Spellcheck has been good to me) I had a nursing instructor who put it this way. "John, you're going to be a great nurse but if you don't learn how to spell no one will know it. " We had a doctor, Anna, who had great laughs at my expense. She used to say she enjoyed reading my charts because she could read my hand writing and if she sounded out what I wrote she could figure out what I meant, and it entertained her. She's moved to Florida but I think she stayed around a little longer just to enjoy the laughs. I remember telling one coworker that I spelled phonetically and she said "no you don't", to which I replied, "yes I do, it's just that I also mispronounce my words". She thought for a moment and replied, "your right."
What God did not give me in spelling ability He made up with in the ability to laugh at myself.
Anyway, one day I had triaged a woman with abdominal pain. We were busy so I sent her to the waiting room. Shortly after I observed her eating. Wanting to update the triage note but not being sure how to spell Doritos, I wrote "patient eating snacks in waiting room", however, true to form, I misspelled and it came out,
"Patient eating SNAKES in waiting room".
As luck would have it, Dr Anna ended up with the chart. She came in chuckling, and said, "I think we know why you're having abdominal pain".