Wednesday, April 07, 2010
This blog is now located at http://girlingreenwood.blogspot.com/.
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.
For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
It has been a very busy year, with lots of good things and lots of bad things too - and yet I have a great deal to be thankful for.
Now I have a request for you, my dear readers. In honor of our beloved friend who died this year, please do one small thing - think of a friend or relative or someone who you've been meaning to call but have been putting off for no good reason, and call them just to say you love them and are thinking of them. You'll both feel good afterwards.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Friday, November 13, 2009
book report: The House of Hope and Fear
by Audrey Young
I loved this book and read it in a few hours becuase I was so fascinated. I work at the hospital that Dr. Young describes with honesty and affection. In her stories about patients, doctors, families, and aspects of society, the reader gets a view inside a public hospital and the people who work and are treated there.
There are two reasons why I would recommended you read this book: First, it would help you understand why I choose to work at the county hospital and why I am so proud of the work I do. The other reason is more political: reading about the patients who end up at the county hospital seeking primary care - the homeless, the addicted, the mentally ill, the underinsured, the unemployed, the desparate - is the best argument I can think of for universal health care.
Just one fact pulled from the book: the United States spends more than twice as much on health care than any other country, and yet our health outcome and life expectancy statistics are nowhere near the best in the world.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
(I know I haven't been blogging much. It's been a busy summer. R* and I bought a new house and have been working on fixing it up. I've been working hard, and am being rewarded for my hard work by being asked to be one of the charge nurses on my shift. R* changed jobs and while that's a good thing, it's another source of stress. If you want to get more frequent updates from me, find me on Facebook or Twitter!)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
My patient was 20.
He'd had a drug overdose.
His family had made the difficult decision to put him on comfort care.
Today was the first day I'd cared for him.
Today was the day he died.
Normally this kind of thing doesn't get to me that much.
But he was so, so young, and the family was so, so heartbroken.
It was tough to watch.
More than once.
But you know what?
I did a f*cking outstanding job as their nurse.
The patient died peacefully without signs of pain.
The family was all gathered at the bedside singing and praying.
I reassured the family that the patient's signs & symptoms were normal, that he was very near the end, that their feelings of guilt/anxiety/relief were all nomral, that they didn't need to worry about any logistics, that they were doing the right thing by holding the patient's hands and touching him.
My excellent coworkers took over care for my other patients for a while so I could devote my time to this family.
I got the chaplain, the palliative care doc, and the medicine attending doc to stop by before the patient died.
I did postmortem care to get the body ready for friends and family to see.
I paged a couple other doctors who had cared for the patient so they could visit the family.
The nightshift nurse who had asked for me to be assigned to the patient came in at the end of my shift and we hugged and told each other what a terrific nurse the other was.
I called another of my coworkers on my way home to give her some positive feedback the family had shared with me.
Now I am drinking a large alcoholic beverage.
And wishing there was some way to tell people not to use heroin and aprazolam together.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Today I precepted a brand-new nurse (a graduate from the same school I attended) who was scared out of her mind about starting work.
One year ago I could barely handle taking care of two patients.
Today I had a total of six patients with admits and discharges.
One year ago I had successfully drawn blood once.
Today I helped my preceptee try to draw blood for the second time. She didn't succeed. I stuck the patient once and while I had to dig around a bit for the vein, I got the blood sample.
One year ago I had no idea how to put a tele monitor on a patient, much less how to read an EKG.
Today I admitted a tele patient, stuck on the monitor and assessed his rhythm, then called the doctor to report on the weirdness I was seeing without breaking a sweat.
One year ago I was nervous every time I went into a patient's room because I felt awkward and incompetent.
Today I breezed into a patient's room and was greeted by the patient's daughter, who informed me that I was her mom's favorite nurse.
One year ago I was not sure how I would like working in a hospital with lots of people I didn't know.
Today I got hugs and kisses from most of my coworkers, including a doctor.
This job has worked out brilliantly.
-a patient's daughter
-a jail guard
-a nursing assistant
-5 of my coworkers
I kissed my husband but I didn't hug him because he was still lying in bed when I left for work, and lying down on the couch when I got home from work.