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. =)
My daughter had a sore throat for several weeks and it appeared to be strep from the white craters all over her tonsils and in her throat. I suggested she go into the local walk in urgent care center. So, everything after this is what she relayed to me after her visit: (Keep in mind my daughter has grown up in and around hospitals.)
After the typical long wait my daughter was taken back to an exam room. Her vital sign were taken and the nurse left the room. A few minutes later the doctor came in and examined her by using his otoscope in each ear and then putting it in her mouth. Then he left.
A few minutes later the nurse came back in the exam room with gloves already on. The exam room has a door. So, I'm assuming unless he has very talented thighs, the gloves touched the doorknob. The nurse then stuck a long handled q-tip into the back of her throat (not swabbing, I asked) made her gag and left the room, still wearing the same gloves and holding the swab out in front of him like it was a torch leading his way. Yep, you guessed it, a few minutes later, the nurse came back in the room wearing gloves. The same gloves? Who knows. He then took them off as he had to rifle through the drawer to find the glucose monitor and strips. So now, WITHOUT GLOVES and WITHOUT ALCOHOL, he proceeded to stick her finger to check her blood sugar. Even my daughter knew that was wrong. He didn't give her a cotton swab or a bandaid so she proceeded to drip blood everywhere. Finally he decided to get her a bandaid. Her sugar was ok so the physician came in, told her she didn't have strep and prescribed her cough syrup with hydrocodone and left.
What is healthcare coming to? My biggest disappointment is that my daughter didn't say anything. All I can say is the nurse at the walk in clinic needs to thank God that I wasn't with my daughter!!!!
The first line of the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics begins. . . "The nurse provides services with respect for human dignity"
The last line of marriage vows is "until death do us part"
One night when I went in to work I got report on one of my patients who was a quadriplegic. He was malnourished and wasting away. His electrolytes were jacked up and he had a severed spinal cord. Apparently he wanted to die. Not saying anything derogatory about anyone, but that is the report I got. Oh yeah, and "Jim" was 29 years old, married, and had two little girls.
Jim was angry, bitter and rude when I went in to assess him. I normally have an easy time bonding with my patients but it was not happening with Jim. He didn't want me or anyone in his room. He refused to be turned, refused his medication, had refused food and wanted to be left alone. I didn't understand.
I was thinking that Jim must be in a lot of pain, not just emotional, but physical. I looked at his MAR and noted that he had nothing ordered for pain. Knowing about phantom pain, I woke the Dr and asked if I could have an order for some PRN pain meds for this member. The Dr balked at this and I pleaded for him to just order it times 3 q 4-6 hours. He agreed.
I went into Jim's room and he immediately told me to get out. I asked him to just listen to me for a minute. I told him that I didn't know what he had been through but I knew he had to be in some serious pain. I then went on to tell him that I bet his pain was a burning pain in his groin and in his legs. He started to listen. I explained phantom pain and that it is a very real pain. I said that I had no idea what he had been through but I knew he was angry at the world and I understood. He told me that I could never understand. I offered him the pain medication as a peace offering and he accepted it by not saying no. I told him I had to reassess his pain in 30 minutes so I would just wait. He got quiet again but agreed. A few minutes later Jim started to talk to me. (Narcotics are wonderful assistants at appropriate times.)
Jim had a wife, who was a nurse and two beautiful little girls who he loved with all of his heart. His wife had been talking about a divorce for awhile and that was the last thing he wanted. He didn't want his family broken up. He then told me the most horrific thing I've ever heard. A week before, he had been shot in the back of the neck (C-2) and left for dead. . . . by his wife!!! Who is a Nurse!!! Or was, rather. I'm sure by now she has had her license, revoked (at the very least) and is spending time in the big house!
I sat there and didn't know what to say. I didn't think I could find the words to even express the way I felt, much less even think that I knew the way he felt. All I could mutter was "I'm so sorry." He continued with his story. His parents who lived 200 miles away kept calling his house and all he could do was lay there and listen to the phone ring and pray. When his parents who he spoke to daily couldn't get ahold of him or his wife they grew concerned and drove the 200 miles to his house. Looking in the window, they saw him, broke into his house and called an ambulance. He had been told by the doctors that he was very lucky that his respiratory drive hadn't been shut down as his C-spine injury was very high. Jim stated that he didn't feel lucky at all. We continued to talk and before long I realized that I'd been in his room for over an hour. I had to go check my other patients. Before leaving, I asked him if I could please turn him and he said no. I made a deal, pain medicine before turning. He agreed. I told him I would be leaving in a couple of hours and would be back that night. He asked if I would be his nurse again. At that moment, that meant more to me than helping to save a life!
Warning: This is just a rant I have to get off my chest. Trauma story coming up next! (However this could have been a Trauma Story. Thank God it wasn't.)
A driver’s license does not gurantee intelligence, nor do traffic laws interrupt or prevent stupidity. Bad drivers are bad drivers. Several weeks ago (2 weeks before Christmas) my son and my husband were following me to an important meeting when all of a sudden a girl, probably about 23 years old driving a Ford Taurus hit them because she misjudged the timing and apparently the space between vehicles. My husband was driving our Dodge Durango and to give you an idea of the impact, after spinning 180 degrees and stopping, there was no doubt our Durango was totaled. The rear drive shaft was knocked off and was dragging on the ground! It was unable to be moved until the tow truck got there. The girls in the Ford jumped up over the curb onto the lawn of a business where they sat. At least nobody was hurt. My son and my husband were sore but ok. Thank God. The girl/girls didn’t apologize albeit they didn’t speak very much English, but if you cause someone that much distress and potential harm, I would think that you could at the very least say you're sorry. Anyway, this led to hassle upon hassle with rental cars, insurance claims, car payoffs and the search for a new vehicle for my husband. What a way to spend the holidays. We finally found one on New Year’s Day. This is his new toy. Niiiiiice.
Anyway, to those of you that are bad drivers, here's a book you may want to trade the one above for: