Wednesday, May 17, 2006
In defense of all nurses, particularly ICU nurses, everywhere, just a clarification for those of you who might be so enthralled by the realism and drama of Grey's Anatomy...
Just because you close the blinds in my patient's room -- my ICU-status heart-failure patient, who is connected to every sort of lead and monitor we can come up with-- does not mean you can just do whatever you want to him. Maybe you can sneaky-crawl into bed with him, but you cannot cut his LVAD wires without me or my monitors or any other nurse or tech or RT noticing. Heck, you can't even walk into my patient's room without me noticing. And also, you can't really get away with fake-killing my patient so he can get a new heart. But then again, absolutely no surgeon looks like Dr. McDreamy, or even Alex, or George, so I'm willing to suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy the show as well. And oh yeah, Izzy? You are crazy.
For you more experienced nurses out there...will lip-reading get easier? I spent ten minutes last night "conversing" with my patient while she mouthed words around her endotracheal tube and used hand gestures. I thought she was wanting to talk about dying, and heaven, and getting to go home, but actually, turns out she just wanted me to raise the head of her bed. Ah well.
As a side note, I have perpetual nurse's guilt. Does everyone have this? Does it go away? I finish every shift wondering what I forgot to do, feeling like maybe I didn't do every single little tiny thing I could have done, second-guessing most of my "nursing judgements" that I make over the course of the shift. It's not as bad as it sounds...I'm not a quivering ball of unconfident nursing jelly, but inside I sort of am. I suppose over-confidence is just as bad. But does trusting yourself more just come with time? (Bad-nurse voice in my head replies: No, you actually need to be a better nurse!)
Ack. It's hot out. The dogs are melting. They are like silly putty, they actually get longer in the heat.