My name is Cory. I am a mom, a wife, a NaNa, and a critical care nurse that lives in Nashville, TN. I have found my calling in ER/Trauma/ICU. Each day I find myself experiencing life changing events and hope that by reading my posts, you will experience and feel some of what I do. If you read nothing else, please
take time to read "The Hardest Question Ever Asked". It's my very first posting.
And if for some reason you think you see your story here.....you don't. It's not about you or anyone you know. =)
Ok, you know how they teach us in nursing school we have to be non-judgmental and remain neutral in all cases and treat all patients the same, give equal care, yadda, yadda, yadda?
How do you do that when your first patient is a Youth Minister who has been in a devastating car crash with multiple fractures and internal injuries, is on full life support, PRVC on the vent, Levophed, Neo, you name it. He is loved by all, said to be one of the most devout and spiritual men ever and he's in his mid 30's.
And your second patient is also on full life support, intubated through the side of his neck where it was slashed in prison. He's shackled to the bed with two prison guards at the bedside. "What did he go to prison for?" I asked the guards. "He's killed numerous women" they said. "Oh nice" I'm thinking. This is going to be a challenge. It's bad enough this guy resembles Satan. No joke. Well, not that I've ever SEEN Satan or PLAN on seeing Satan but from pictures depicting what Satan looks like, he looked just like him. He had the fire red hair and the fire red long goatee.
Of course with most patients in these conditions we either have them on Fentanyl and Versed drips or Diprivan drips or all of the above. Each morning we do what we call a "sedation vacation" where we wake them up for a few moments to ensure that their neuro status is still intact. What I saw in the early morning hours from the guards is what finally made me realize that no matter what this guy has done, he is still human and deserved medical care. When we allowed him to wake up for a few moments the guards proceeded to tell him "you've died! you're in hell! "you got what you deserved!" I saw pure fear in his eyes. And on and on they went. I couldn't believe it! I was in shock!!! I immediately told my Charge Nurse who in turn contacted the guard’s supervisor and we had them removed and made DNRs. (Do not returns)
I’m glad I wasn’t put in the position but I have always wondered if they had both coded at the same time, which one would I have gone for first? Nah, I really don’t wonder. I guess I just like to think that I really do have that objective and non-judgmental nature we’re supposed to have.
CoryTraumaRN posted today at 3:11 PM
I bet you'd try to first save that prisoner, Cory. you know that the minister is going to see God. That prisoner might not be ready to meet with Him yet, right?