As a professional patient, I deal with nurses regularly. And believe it or not, just yesterday when I was having something embarrassing done to my butt, I remembered to say thank you to the nurses who helped me. Well, except for the one who was there when I woke up from anesthesia. I think I said something weird to her, but I don’t think she’ll recognize me with my pants on.
Anyway, it’s National Nurses Week. Say thanks, now while you’re feeling good. Because usually when they’re helping you, you don’t feel so good.
And I’m rerunning this post. Because I can. And to say thanks, again.
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.
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.