Nurses — The Beauty of Seamless Teamwork

Naturally, I was just settling down in my recliner for a nap when the commotion started.

Yesterday I had my Remicade infusion in the outpatient infusion center at the hospital.  I was in one of my favorite spots — near the nurses station and the bathroom.  The room is a bay of about 15 vinyl recliners designed for easy cleaning.  Unfortunately, once the leg rests are up, getting out is nearly impossible.  That’s why I like being by both the nurses’ station and the bathroom.  No need for a change of clothes.

Anyway, as I was settling down for my nap with my curtain partially drawn when another patient walked towards me from the other end of the corridor.  As she neared the nurses’ station, she looked up at the ceiling, and I saw her legs buckle, her arms flap out birdlike, and in slow motion she started to faint.

Luckily for Mrs. Smith, a nurse was there to catch her.  That nurse, Brittany, called out for help, and I then witnessed one of the most professional exhibitions of teamwork I’ve ever seen.

Google Image

                          Google Image

Immediately, Molly, my nurse ran to help, calling out, calmly for assistance, and specifying the location.  Brittany and Molly gently lowered Mrs. Smith to the floor, with Molly saying “Mrs. Smith, open your eyes,” repeatedly

Other nurses went different directions towards strategically located equipment which was quickly and efficiently brought to the aid of Mrs. Smith.

Within 1 minute, Mrs. Smith had 6 nurses as well as equipment protecting her privacy surrounding her.  Each nurse had a role.  Molly got Mrs. Smith to open her eyes, then to squeeze her hand, then to speak.  Another nurse contacted the ER to send EMTs with a gurney to get Mrs. Smith to the ER.  Another started her on a fluid IV while still another nurse took an EKG and yet another set up and constantly monitored vital signs, calling them out to the team.

Within 4 minutes, Mrs. Smith, awake and groggy, was wheeled out to the ER with Brittany, the nurse who originally caught her fall, holding her hand and walking with her.

*****

I can honestly say as an expert patient, that being sick sucks.  Often we grouse at our doctors and nurses and other caretakers.  We bitch about the hospitals, the costs, everything.  Because we don’t want to need these services.

But, like Mrs. Smith (not her real name), I’ve been in need of help before.  And when it’s you on the receiving end, it’s hard to appreciate the artistry.

I saw a the most amazing demonstration well-trained staff of caring professionals.  I have a lot of faith in my healthcare professionals, but it was fascinating and wonderful watching when I’m not on the receiving end.

 

75 Comments

Filed under Advice from an Expert Patient, Awards, Class Act, Cool people, Crohn's Disease, Drugs, Good Deed Doers, Good Works, Health, Health and Medicine, Illness

75 responses to “Nurses — The Beauty of Seamless Teamwork

  1. As a nurse, I can tell you that this kind of recognition means the world to us. Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad! You guys are amazing. My late sister was a nurse, so I have an extra reason to be appreciative.)

      But how did you find this? I wrote it months ago and still get comments on it, which is unusual.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a great piece and I’m so glad you are still getting comments reflecting on it! I’ve actually been going through a rough patch which happens from time to time (very sick patients, lots of emergent situations)…I wanted some inspiration regarding nursing, did a search for “nurses” and found your sweet writing. It was just what I needed! I’ve been a nurse for 25 years now 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh dear. I have often wondered how you nurses can do such a challenging and heart wrenching job. My sister, for example, worked in neo-natal ICU and so many of her babies didn’t make it. She became philosophical and believed in reincarnation for the “little boogers” as she called them (to the chagrin of the parents!).

          The fact that you’re looking for comfort is good — it seems that you’re trying to recharge your heart. I don’t know what type of nursing you do, but I can feel your warmth and compassion.

          All the best to you. May you find what you need!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. As a nursing student, my professors stress teamwork like nothing else. Love this post, it makes me excited to be apart of something so meaningful to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Its always nice to read something positive about a patient’s experience with a nurse. I am a nurse and I see amazing teamwork every day. Its not important for others to see it, but its nice when they do.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am a nurse. I just want thank you from the very bottom of my heart for your post, including all of your responses in the comments section. It is people like you who make the heart breaking parts of our job worth it. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love being on these teams! Saving lives never gets old or loses its reward!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks.<3 I'm a nurse. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Having spent the better part of the past two years in infusion centers and hospitals, I can safely say that nurses do not get near enough credit for the unbelievable work they do, individually and collectively. Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What an inspiring story. Nurses are the lubrication that runs the giant machinery of healthcare.

    You should send a copy of this post to the hospital. I know they get complaints constantly – bet they would love to get a compliment for once, and how nice of you to do so.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. What nursed do is incredible. They have to be calm, knowledgeable, and compassionate. I’ve seen what they go through in a typical shift and it blows me away. I could never be a nurse. It takes a special person for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you for posting this. We too often hear the negatives about healthcare providers. It’s nice to see them get a little love. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. You gotta love nurses. Once, I was having a… procedure… that was a little embarrassing and a little painful. The nurse just put her hand on my shoulder and starting talking to me. It took my focus off things. I almost cried.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Beautiful, Elyse. Brought tears to my eyes. Still sorry you have to go through that, though. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Teamwork at its best. Thanks for this uplifting story, Elyse. Much needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Paul

    Brilliant and well said Elyse. Thank You.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m talking to nurses about doing some research with them. You should hear how they talk about their patients – complete respect and compassion and understanding that everyone is different and everyone needs help with dignity. What you describe is that in action. As a professional patient myself, it gives me so much comfort to know these guys have my back. They are amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • they are phenomenal — and they even talk about the jerky patients with compassion. That’s why I couldn’t be a nurse. Calling a spade a spade is what I do best!

      Good luck with your research!

      Liked by 2 people

  16. They get paid a lot, but I’m glad they do. Many have short careers because all the lifting they do ruins their backs. I’ve always had good experiences with them, the few times I’ve needed them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a good living, but compared to so many folks who make less of a difference I think it’s fairly paltry. My sister, Beth, who was a neo-natal intensive care nurse, used to help premature babies live. There isn’t a price tag for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I was a nurse for 24 years, you have to be ready for ANYTHING! Thanks for the shout-out. 🙂 Just got back from the movie “Sully” about the pilot who successfully landed a commercial airliner in the Hudson River when both engines went out due to bird strikes. All crew and passengers survived. Another great example of training, experience, and teamwork.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My hat’s off to you, Joan. I’ve been a patient for more than 40 years, and I really do know the value of nurses (even, belatedly, the one who led me around the hall by the tube that was coming out of my nose after GI surgery who I would have killed had I had the means at that moment). They have so many duties, so many of which are mundane and then when IT hits the fan, they are the ones there, who need to respond.

      And they do. I have never, NEVER, been let down by a nurse. They are under appreciated and under paid.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. My mother and sister were nurses. I have always said, in any type of emergency, you want a nurse with you. Just seems to come with a cool head!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It’s amazing when we get the opportunity to witness people doing what they are trained to do, working together as a team, especially when it is nurses who are looking after the welfare of a person in need. They really are wonderfully caring people, and often have so much piled on their plate, that it is a wonder how they manage to get everything done on any given day. Thanks for sharing this nod of appreciation for the caregivers in our world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So good to see you, 99!

      Yes, I realize how wonderful these people are. They are primarily but not always women. They are always caring, always helpful (even when it doesn’t seem that they are!) But they are under appreciated for sure.

      It was nice to see the seemlessness of their teamwork, especially since I was not in need of their services this time!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Wonderful well written affirmation of a totally deserving calling. And that’s what it is, a calling and a ministry of healing. Thanks for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is a calling. My late sister Beth was a nurse, and for many years before she entered the field she was the caretaker for all of us. Like Beth, I think being a nurse is at the heart of who many nurses are.

      Welcome!

      Like

  21. Nurses are unsung heroes, absolutely no doubt about it. Now, if only we (as a society) compensated and respected them as such.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Reblogged this on Barb Taub and commented:
    This is so moving, and not expressed nearly often enough.

    Like

  23. I love good stories! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oooh and I have to tell you this bit too — remember that I told you that I was exposed to c diff when I was hospitalized? Well I put up a huge stink and demanded that the hospital write off my part of the bill. When I got home from my infusion, I had received a letter saying that they agreed! It was a good day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Now that IS awesome! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • A very nice story about nurses, Elyse, but your mention of c diff exposure reminds me of a different reality. A 2016 study of the number of deaths that were a result of medical error in the U.S. placed the yearly death rate in the U.S.at 251,454. Deaths! The teamwork you witnessed was highly commendable but the stats say that it’s also uncommon. If airlines were run like hospitals, nobody would fly.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You’re right, of course Jim. (And believe me after my fury at being an immunosuppressed patient exposed to c diff I used that very article in my argument against the hospital (same one, in fact). That is a long story that I didn’t post about except in a comment to VD because I was arguing with the hospital about money.

          Medical errors is actually a different issue. And it’s a huge, complex problem. I’m not sure your analogy to flying is apt, though. There are specific people in charge of specific functions in the engineering and maintenance of an airplane, and then different but still specific folks charged with flying it. Checklists, etc.

          There have actually been improvements in certain areas with checklists at hospitals, the idea taken from aviation. That’s why everybody asks your name and birthdate, for example.

          But when you’re in the hospital, literally dozens of people are involved in your care. Any one can carry an infection. They can wash their hands but what about their shoes, their clothing? Plus you have teams of doctors. Specialists. Hospitalists. Interns and residents. Nurses — yours and your roommate’s. Nursing assistants. The folks who bring your dinner.

          I do most of my work looking at the things that can go wrong with medications, too. That list is really long as well.

          Besides. We can choose to not fly. I personally would choose to never be hospitalized again. Alas, that’s unlikely.

          Like

          • You make good points, Elyse, but I will stand behind my analogy with flying. 250,000 people a year dying is as though a major city were wiped out. The checklists are a good start, and I think, e-records as well.

            It’s not all infections, although I’m sure that’s a major part of it. Some are botched surgeries, leaving sponges or tools in wounds, drug allergies, triage mistakes, air bubbles in blood, anesthesia errors (remember Joan Rivers?), wandering dementia patients, and mixing up tubes, such as feeding tube and chest tube.

            Of course, a big part of the problem is over-worked and distracted nurses. I know that firsthand from when Mollie was in hospital a couple of years ago. More people and more money would help a lot (like that will happen!) 12-hour shifts are just nuts, but that’s what they do. Pilots are limited in hours and only do significant work in taking off and landing.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I agree that it’s a humongous problem. Interesting to me is how much the problem has increased though since hospitals — and healthcare in general — has more and more been run by MBAs instead of health care professionals.

              But these nurses were amazing, Jim. It was like watching a valet.

              Liked by 1 person

  24. I’m happy that you wrote this, so other people can see it. My mother was a nurse – and all she cared about was doing what was needed to help in the moment she was in. If that was life-saving, it was amazing. But if that was bringing a bedpan or holding a hand – that was all good too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Doing what was needed to help in the moment” — what a great description of a nurse. They really are the unsung heroes of health care, and they get so much abuse. Because sick people aren’t always the nicest. And nurses always get stuck making patients do the hard stuff!
      There have been times when I appreciated nurses so much that I considered becoming one. Then I looked in the mirror and knew that I just don’t have the disposition (or the stamina — you don’t get many bathroom breaks!)!

      Like

      • I actually tried Nursing, because I so wanted to be like my Mom, but it just wasn’t for me. I think I would have made a good doctor though.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I thought of being a nurse several times because I was so appreciative of what the ones who took care of me had done for me. But I’m just not that nice.

          A doctor? You have to dissect stuff. Nope. Not I said Chicken Little.

          Like

  25. They’re like superheros. They should be paid the same as a hedge fund portfolio managers. How many lives have those guys saved?

    Liked by 2 people

    • We certainly do not have our priorities straight, do we, in terms of who gets the big bucks. Other than you and me, it really should be the nurses.

      Like

    • I totally agree. I have always had the utmost respect and admiration for these people and the work they do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Another first commenter! Welcome.

        I’ve been a patient for 40+ years and I have so much respect and affection for these folks. It is an incredibly hard job, filled with mundane tasks and life-and-death situations. One of my sisters was a nurse and I was always in awe of the responsibility she shouldered with a smile.

        Liked by 1 person

  26. That’s the best place to be in a hospital – neither receiving not providing care. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Play nice, please.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s