Wednesday, May 14, 2008

So long and thanks for all the fish

Three weeks ago this Friday was my last day in PICU. Possibly my last day as a bedside nurse, ever. Mmmm, well, maybe. There's something to be said for taking care of the immediate needs of another human being. A long time ago, my friend John dated these two women (not at the same time). They could have been twins: they were both tall, blonde and bitchy. Well, there's something to be said for his taste in women but he was a fun guy to hang out with. Anyway, fast forward to 1997 and I run into girlfriend #1. She asks what I'm doing and I tell her I've become a nurse. She sneers and makes a remark about how co-dependant that is. (Remember co-dependancy? Or as I like to call, As Crazy as You Want Me to Be). I was brandy-new to nursing, at the time, so I just mumbled something about her not understanding and made my get-away, before I caught whatever it was she had. Another year goes by and I run into girlfriend #2. She also asks what I'm doing and again I say I'm a nurse. She ALSO says that that's soooo co-dependant. Now, I could have said that nursing is about caring, not co-dependancy. That it's about advocating for the sick, helping people when they're vulnerable, and healing folks who are wounded in their hearts, minds and bodies. It's about education and research and community outreach and technology and putting it all together in a multi-disciplinary, holistic package. But I didn't say any of those things.

Instead, I smiled and said, "How interesting, that's just what C-- said to me."

She just turned on her heel and walked away.


 

Without a doubt, some people think nurses are co-dependant. I know one or two doctors who think we're overpaid babysitters. (Oh, is the nurse talking? How cute).


 

For the past few weeks I've been doing another kind of nursing. So far I've mostly been making phone calls, or watching people make phone calls. I've done med reviews and taken histories and started to learn about the process of getting people on the waiting list for a kidney and then what to do with them after they get one. I will eventually wind up on the post-transplant side with another coordinator. People are constantly saying, "Oh, you're going to be working with him? Good luck." Love Monkey thinks this is a bad sign but I'm taking it as a challenge. I'll let you know how that all works out. For now, I'm not sure how much I'm going to be talking about my actual coworkers or patients because I've come to find out how non-anonymous the internet is and I've already been bitten in the butt making that mistake. I will say that the worst part of my week was telling someone that they're not a candidate for a transplant due to other health problems. Not fun. Think of taking away someone's puppy on Christmas and then telling them Santa's not real. It was worse.

And do I have to say that I'm sick again? Toddler germs. Just when I thought I'd caught every germ in the Mid-Atlantic states, I find a new one. Oh, well.

3 comments:

BreathinSteven said...

Hey You!!!

I miss your face... And hey -- I'm not the sharpest arrow in the quiver, but the first thing I thought after your line beginning, "Instead, I smiled and said,..." All's I was thinking was "whoa, she called her the C-word?", then I realised that her name started with that...

And I can't even imagine what it's like telling a patient they're not a candidate -- I know that was sometimes my fear, and may again be someday -- I can't imagine actually hearing it, and I can't imagine having to deliver it... But I also haven't met a lot of people with your strength and compassion...

As for Dr. Challenge, I always walk into these situations with six little words on my mind: "What's not to love about me?!?" But then, you've probably heard me use them...

You take care, TC...

Love,

Steve

TC said...

Ha ha! When I re-read it, it did look like she called her the C-word. And that wouldn't surprise me a bit, knowing her.

And "Dr" Challenge is really TC Challenge-but I'm not too worried. And it's true, what's NOT to love about me?

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