Thursday, March 22, 2012

Reflections on Nursing

On an episode of Parks and Recreation, a female character whose name I don't remember said to Ann Perkins, a nurse: "Oh, nursing..... You must be so tired and sad."  I guess I probably should be tired and sad after working multiple 12 to 13 hour night shifts back to back, missing out on daylight, breathing dry, stale hospital air which reddens my skin, shrivels my contact lenses, and parches my lips and hair.  I probably should be tired and sad, surrounded by death, tears, anxiety, insomnia, and infinite manifestations of misery. Surrounded by blood, urine, vomit, feces, drainage, amid a cacophony of alarms, beeps, wails, profanity, and endless requests, demands, criticisms.  But through this chaos shines the light of compassion, humor, poignancy, faith, and endurance.  Sometimes a little healing even happens.

I never imagined I'd be lucky enough to work with a group of (mostly) women who are among the wittiest, funniest, most energetic, most sincere, and most awesome people I have ever met. They are simply shining examples of humanity that I strive to emulate in my nursing practice and my life.  So for those AMC coworkers reading this post, know that I have shared some of my best times with y'all. There's no better way to bond with your teammates than by cleaning up a confused patient's diarrhea at 3am while discussing your respective wedding plans, or working together to stabilize a patient who has turned blue from lack of oxygen, or who has pulled out her central line and begun to hemorrhage.  I'll admit that sometimes tiredness and sadness creep in to my sentiments about nursing.  However as I face my last four shifts at this delightful place of work, I will remember my days here with a giggle and a sigh, and hope that my next job will be as satisfying.


Two of our many 3am potlucks.  Nothing like the night shift team!  I miss it already :)

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