DancingNurse-Ed

Registered Nurse. Clinical Nurse Educator. DNP Student.

It’s humbling, landing yourself on a stretcher, and viewing health care from the perspective of a patient. One of the most common things for an asthmatic, is experiencing chest pressure, and shortness of breath - it’s a tightening of the throat that suddenly wakes you up at night, a pain that can perhaps be described like a persistent ache in the chest, like all the air is sucked out of you, and actually quite scary if you’ve experienced it. And so, with all those symptoms, I did what any (dumbass) health care provider would do, I ignored it, hoping it would go away. Nurse managers tend to get annoyed with sick calls, so I went to work - it’s a critical care environment, no worries, I’d be ok.

Except I wasn’t, and the charge nurse knew it, and still asked me to take what was evidently going to be the unit’s most unstable patient, about to come out of the OR: I stopped for a minute, and considered it from the patient’s point of view: it wouldn’t be safe for them to have a nurse who wasn’t on point. And it wasn’t safe for me, since the sob and chest pressure was unrelieved - so, even though I could tell it annoyed the charge nurse, I went to the ER (despite my reluctance, I knew how busy they are, and thought I could avoid it). I can’t say I was too surprised to discover my oxygen saturation was 86 (oops). I felt incredible fear (well, first denial, if I’m being honest). Fear, of all the cardiac and respiratory possibilities, (plus I’m scared of needles), and as they worked me up, I felt my heart racing, although I stayed very quiet, having no choice but to put my trust in their care. I willed my mind to the serenity of sun and seaside of Bondi Beach, and tried to let go of the frightened feeling, but it wouldn’t dissipate. It was the phenomenal care of the nurses, who somehow knew that even though I was silent, and looked relatively calm - they surmised I was trembling on the inside, and scared beyond belief. I am thankful for nurses who do not assume quiet patients aren’t nervous or frightened. They were run off their feet in work, drunk patients cursing and knocking things over, fast tracking patients quicker than I could puff through my nebulizer, stretchers lined the ER, waiting room with a steady flow of people, and yet their care was of excellence.

Four things I (re)learned today. 1.Never forget how frightening, or vulnerable it feels to be a patient. 2. Ignoring chest pressure and difficult breathing is probably not smart. 3. Taking four flights of stairs, instead of the elevator into work is probably not smart either. 4.ER nurses are tops.

The most frustrating thing? Being denied the prescribed medications by the pharmacy, ones that medical evidence has proven will help treat me, (insurance will apparently only accept mail in prescriptions of “maintenance” meds). Really?! Dang. Albuterol is a first line medication in the prevention and EMERGENT treatment of asthma - considered a ‘rescue inhaler’ to be carried around at all times, and a lifesaver when it’s severe. (It was the first thing they gave me in the ER). It’s a bronchodilator, which provides immediate relief, not a medication that a patient who may experience sudden shortness of breath ought to wait via snail mail. The insurance company rep’s helpful response? “You just have to wait.” (Thanks for the empathy). Companies that are more talk, than action when it comes to the person at the bottom of the food chain. Shrug.
I’m a nurse, so I at least have emergent treatment available on my unit, (but not at night time, or days off) - and what about all the patients who do not have any immediate access? What about the people who wake up in the middle of the night with shortness of breath while they wait for their medication to be approved, and delivered? This is unnecessary time and effort expecting patients to jump through all the hoops just to get the basics needed to take care of their health. I can understand why people aren’t as compliant. It’s a flashback to when I first immigrated and had no health insurance, or quality of care. This is precisely why ER’s may still be overrun with admissions that might have been prevented, despite a really great recent change to afford everyone the right to health care insurance - they just can’t get the meds in time to prevent the issue. Frontline Health care is evolving, with the Affordable Health Care Act, isn’t it time Insurance companies followed with vital medications, instead of regressing? Hopefully, this will change soon too. Thank goodness for emergency room nurses and doctors, and their extraordinary patience, compassion and care - although I hope I do not see them again too soon.

It’s a few days later, and I’m waiting for the irritation to pass, so I can write a clear headed formal letter of concern, (void of the curse words I’m currently thinking). It’s likely one voice won’t make much of a difference, but heck, I’m trying anyway.

46 plays

classicalliterature:

Brahms - Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 - II. Adagio

Performed by Gidon Kremer with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra lead by Leonard Bernstein

36 plays

classicalliterature:

Brahms - Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 - III. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace - Poco più presto

Performed by Gidon Kremer with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra lead by Leonard Bernstein

The third movement is a lively and brilliant demonstration of the solo violin’s technique and range of sounds. This movement was the inspiration for the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice song “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” from the musical Evita. It was also used twice in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2007 film There Will Be Blood, including the end credits.

The longest day must have its close – the gloomiest night will wear on to a morning. An eternal, inexorable lapse of moments is ever hurrying the day of the evil to an eternal night, and the night of the just to an eternal day.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (via itsquoted)
I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.

adenosinetriesphosphate:

It’s that time again. Reflections as I move ahead. More things I wish I told myself before becoming a nurse.

1. Be careful not to become a nurse to everyone. It’s one thing to take care of all of your patients, it is another to do that 36 hours a week and come home and take care of your husband,…

ppaction:

On this day in 1920, the 19th Amendment became law and many women won the hard-fought battle for the right to vote. Today, we’re 10 weeks out from Election Day, and the stakes for women’s rights are as high now as they were then.

We’re celebrating our history — but we won’t go back to it. Happy Women’s Equality Day!

Cover of Katy Perry’s “Roar,” Choreography by Shannon Mather, music by Julia Harriman

yelled:

me attempting to reach the goals I’ve set in life

image

(via nursefocker)

We need to be a little bit kinder to each other in nursing; We need to be more understanding, that some days it is damn near impossible to have it all together. We need to remember what it feels like to be so overwhelmed, that you just can’t catch a breath until the finish line. We can all benefit from considering how difficult it is to give a solid report when someone is attempting to intimidate you, and before we criticize another nurse’s practice, we can perhaps take a step back and examine the times we’ve not been on point, or made mistakes, and just hoped for a little kindness & understanding
Nurse X
The greatest prayer is patience.
Gautama Buddha (via itsquoted)