Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Beware!! Rant coming on!!

99% of the time, I love my job. I love working at a hospital, I like the people I work with, and I really enjoy getting to know patients and their families.

The other 1% of the time, I have to deal with stuff that I'm not fully prepared for, like deaths on our ward, or somebody falling and breaking their arm, only for the x-ray to reveal that they're riddled with cancer.

I work on a Trauma/Orthopedics ward. I deal with broken bones, and back surgeries. For the most part, the Surgeons that I work with are all excellent when dealing with their issues. However, when somebody gets a less desirable diagnosis, other services (IE. Medical Oncologists, or Nephrologists) are slow to pick up the slack. This leaves us nurses in a very tough spot, seeing as we advocate for our patients and do the fighting with the doctors on behalf of the family.

If a person is a newly diagnosed Diabetic, or if the doctors do discover a mass on a lung, it has to come from the doctors. Most of the time, they try to leave it up to the nurses to inform the patients, or see how much the family knows without actually talking to them.

In health care, we all have to give news that not be what anyone wants to hear. There is a fine line between maintaining professionalism and breaking news without showing any empathy. I think that Doctors have to remember that they are humans first, and professionals second.

P.S. I still get teary-eyed when I have bad news. This is why I'm a nurse I guess.
If I were a robot, I would have attended Med. school.


Wreggie said...

I think that is the part of your job I envy most is that you are dealing with humans and human emotion.

I had one great nurse and several adequate nurses this past weekend in the hospital. All gave me good health care, one was by far doing a job she was passionate about.

Okay...she was hot too.

Chief Rock Chef said...

With you there.

One day a doctor told me that my eldest daughter was "a very sick young lady". She died early the next morning.

Chris said...

Wreggie - I'm glad you received top drawer treatment. Did she still flirt with you, even though your face looked like that?

John - I wish compassion could be taught. I would offer that course to everyone.

Jay Gray said...

Working in a hospital (I got to work in all areas but I was only a computer technician so I didn't deal directly with patients or anything) was one of the most humbling experiences of my life.

To see people whose lives could change so suddenly was so sad and I just couldn't imagine being in their shoes or their family's shoes either.

I have A LOT of respect for what you do.

We had the most terrific nurse when Kailyn was born. You could tell she was truly passionate about her job. It was an inspiration.

I imagine it can be a very thankless job as well. We made sure to get her a card and flowers before we left to show our appreciation.