I was assigned as a sitter for a patient on suicide watch over the midnight shift. We spent the whole 12 hours talking about nothing/everything and crying/laughing. When I stepped out of the room to give report I came back to find him fast asleep with a smile on his face. Days later, I received a handwritten letter of his sincere thanks for what he described as the best conversation of his life. Years later, I ran into him again out in the community with his wife and daughter. He told me after that night, he resolved to seek professional help.
I was working a Hospice Unit and I was taking care of a young mother with Ovarian cancer and her family was at her bedside. She was fighting everyday and was not ready to let go. She was a single mother of a 16 year old son. He went and softly in her hear told her "Mom , I know your tired, I will be fine Mom. I Love you. You can let go." With in 5 minutes, she let go. I know this is a sad story, but for days I tried to keep her pain under control, and with the love of her son, all she needed to hear , I will be ok. This was a beautiful moment that let me know I had been given the greatest gift of becoming a nurse and taking care of patients.
As an RN with forty-six years of experience I say any day you are able to impact another human life in a positive manner is fulfilling.
One of my standout experiences in the late 1990s has to be a gentleman who called as he was leaving work to tell me his heart sounded like a washing machine. He was an established cardiac clinic patient so I asked standard questions. I asked him to explain what he meant “…his heart sounded like a washing machine…”. I listened as he put the phone over his heart. I advised calling 911 and not to move from his position. I called him back to confirm EMS arrival. I informed his Cardiologist of the patient’s call and later learned the washing machine sound that the patient and I heard was a flailed mitral valve leaflet which could have been fatal had the man not been taken for surgical repair of the problem that same afternoon. The outstanding event was when Mr. X showed up in the EP clinic about twenty years later after his near fatal heart event!
The most enjoyable part of nursing is wound care, But that is not for everyone. I enjoy it because I have direct Pt hands on care, and I enjoy seeing the wound get better, and while doing wound care, I do mu best to make the Pt as happy as I can.
I recently had a patient who asked for hospital sheets to take home. His funds were reduced to nothing from medical bills owing to cancer. I went home and packed clothing, sheets, comforters, cosmetics etc. He cried and days later I found a card on my office door returning thanks. He addressed it to his "angel". A week later he called to tell me his latest scans showed he was cancer free. I could not stop my tears.
There has been many. I have been a nurse for over 30yrs. Most recent was seeing our covid 19 pts recover and when they come back to visit.
I have many. But watching a patient recovery right in front of your eyes from major injuries or life threatening diseases. The objective is helping someone recover and the that’s possible. We also need to include the family. That add the emotional & psychological component to the patient recovery. I had a patient once who was dissatisfied with his oncologist. I called the medical director for the oncology group and voiced the patient concern. I also asked if he can be the oncologist for the patient. Additionally I asked for a stronger pain med. This patient had cancer with bone mets. I knew how painful that is. He ordered SL Abstral. I contacted the manufacturer & got 1 year supply. I got all the code & # and it to the patient pharmacy. I was told co-pay of $5.00. When the son picked it up it was free. He died 2 months later. Both the wife & one of his 2 sons called me to thank me for what I did and me about the funeral and viewing and invited me. I didn’t attend. But that was satisfying knowing I made a difference for the patient and family. Oh. I did send a condolences card and personal flowers for his wife.
My first MTP. Patient had ruptured esophageal varices. 21 units of blood products infused and had to drop a Blakemore by watching you tube videos. Got him stable for air evac and was later told the patient survived.
I was a nurse in geriatrics loved having them smile at me ,help take away pain and loneliness for some of them ,to watch them laugh ,truly. Loved what I did I am now retired but miss it
Working in acute care rehab. The patients are so sick when they come in and most leave in a much better way. Thank you is wonderful and a lot come back to visit us.
Almost every day I worked although too many were harder than some. From ICU to ER to CDS to Onc and back again. But after 35 years I’d not trade one minute, lol, maybe a few shifts when added together. I’m grumpy and have high expectations of those I work with. From Environmental to Dietary to Maintenance to IT to Administration. I really got lucky for the most part, some would say blessed. Rural area yet metro enough we were the “place to go”. Seen so many “birds” come and go. Always preferred transfers than deliveries. 😉 If you hear me you’ve been there. Every nurse deserves respect. Well, 99.5% do.
Years ago working as a hospice nurse I visited patients in an ALF. One patient, not currently a hospice patient, was yelling and no one was assisting her. Staff told me she does that all the time so they just leave her alone. I took a few moments to listen to her plea for help. All she wanted was to be placed near the window so she could get sunshine on her face. I sat with her in the sunshine for my break and sang to her “You are my sunshine my only sunshine…” From that day forward when she would see me I would begin singing and walk her over to the window. Although she had dementia she would say “I don’t remember your name but I remember your face and your voice. I love you”. Some times We as medical staff just need to take a few moments out to LISTEN. Patients Will tell us what they want if we show them we Can listen and we Do care. She would light up every time I started to sing.