It’s What They Do…

I whole heartedly agree with what Joanie said in a recent post about what it means to be a nurse. She’s got it extra tough, though, since she’s a pediatric nurse. Children cannot think for themselves. Adults (presumably) can. (But of course, they often don’t. I can think of a certain person who fits that description. But I won’t name names. He knows who he is.)

I’ve been able to watch Robert’s nurses in action. There have been a few of them. The one I spoke about the first night, Pam, has not been seen since. Maybe she only works weekends. The nurse who I see most often is the one who’s there at night when I visit. I think her shift must be from 3PM to 11PM. I know she leaves at 11PM. Her name is Shinia. She is very pretty, slim, articulate. She seems to take pride in her work, and also seems to care a great deal about Robert. This must be the gift that most nurses have: To make each patient feel like THEY are the single most important person to the nurse. (When in reality, she’s juggling 10-15 patients!! They can’t all be number one!)

This hospital is state of the art. Each nurse wheels around a little workstation that has a laptop on it. She scans the wristband of each patient before taking vitals and giving meds. All the information is fed into the laptop. Each nurse maintains her laptop with the patients she’s caring for on her shift. (Joan, does your hospital have a setup like this? And if so, how do you like it?)

I asked Shinia how she liked using the computer. She said it really made her job easier, prevented mistakes, and that if she got a job in another hospital that didn’t have such a system, she said she would be a little lost without that computer! (I completely understood, being a computer addict myself!)

The other nurse that I’ve met is there when I leave in the morning. She looks quite young. But our receptionist on my floor looks young too, but I was startled to find that she’s my age! Perhaps it’s that way with this nurse.

By the time I leave around 6:30-7:00 in the morning, the nursing shift is changing. They are coming in droves. They are incapable of walking at a slow, leisurely pace. “Nurse” and “stroll,” two mutually exclusive concepts! I have to get out of their way lest I get mowed down!

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