Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Second in a Series: Hell is other Nurses

Seeing them, working with them, greeting them and saying goodbye. Hell is other Nurses.
Every night I work with the best nurses in the world. We run past each other and smile or say something supportive and then disappear alone into a patient room. We help each other when we can but mostly the best thing you can do for another nurse is let her/him get on with his work by taking care of your own patient assignment.
When hell breaks loose and codes are called everyone rallies around for a while and pitches in but there are still those others to be cared for.
Nurses nearly to the woman, are extremely well-educated. They know their stuff and they advocate for their patients.
Then there's the other 2%--you can't miss them. Angry and sour and always in a battle of wills with the patient and the rest of the staff They carry a forcefield of resentment around them and bash anyone that gets in their way. Why is that?
Most of us are a little older, burned out and tired to the bone. We don't have time for nonsense. We've seen too much. We've worked at this business for 30 or so years and have always been understaffed. On every shift. Every season.
Why do women become nurses? For the same reason we become teachers, because we can work it around our kids and families. Work any hour of the day or night, weekends or holidays--there's always a job for us. And when we get home there's usually another job.
Mommas don't let your babies grow up to be nurses.
Third in the series: Good Laughs

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