I admitted an elderly gentleman early yesterday morning, about half-way through my overnight shift. He came from the ED, extremely cachectic, with a diagnosis of "Failure to Thrive", which I thought only applied to newborns and infants.
He was withdrawn and monosyllabic, and I felt bad to be poking and prodding him with my admission assessment and placing of pressure ulcer preventatives, etc., when it was obvious he just wanted to be left alone.
When I came on last night, my third overnight in a row, after receiving report I walked into his room and reintroduced myself,
"Hi, Mr. Top! Do you remember me? I'm Christina, and I was the nurse who took care of you when you arrived on our unit last night."
He smiled slightly and said,
"You're the lady who got me all that apple juice!"
That he remembered me for THAT of all things, something nice I did for him, rather than the various indignities I subjected him to, absolutely made my day. Nothing got me down for the rest of my shift, not even when a patient's ileostomy bag exploded.
These moments are totally why I became a nurse. It makes everything worth it.
People are generally miserable when they are in the hospital. It is small acts of kindness they typically remember most. Kind words, small deeds. My wife has had people who woke up from comas tell her how they remember her speaking to them kindly while she did things, like suctioning, that are very unpleasant. She's even had one who was able to tell her the names of our daughters because she'd spoken about then with a coworker while working on the patient.
And good for you for doing the kind thing.
Thanks, Knucklehead. I hope I never get too hardened or callused to do the kind things.
I spent 30 days in hospital in '04 . The 2 people I remember are the nurse that took time to massage my pressure points so that I didn't get bed sores and the one that daily took away the chair my wife was using to sleep in . Sounds like you have chosen the better of those 2 paths .
Well done lass.
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