I really like nurses. I think a nursing job done well is one of society’s true resources. This is a sometimes thankless, often backbreaking, frequently dangerous job done nights, weekends, and holidays for non-heroic wages.
The nursing profession in my mind has muscled up in the last generation in terms of political and hospital clout and it is a good thing. My grandmother was a nurse in the 1920’s and I have an aunt and two sisters-in-law
that are nurses. I am sure they all collected stories of being undervalued, ignored, or belittled because of the RN and not MD after their names.
Fortunately, doctors have changed in the recent years. I have usually welcomed suggestions and comments from the nurses I have worked with and I think most doctors today also do. I have found that when I am taking care of a sick patient in the ICU an experienced ICU nurse can be an enormous help; really worth their proverbial weight in gold.
I have always gravitated toward the ICU when I have had a few moments to rest and hang out in the hospital between tasks and so the nurses that I know the best have been ICU nurses. There are too many to name all the ones that I like but Mandy and Rhonda and Angela and Ang and Carol and Eric and John in the Weinberg, Brian and Jerry and Clint and Sam and Deb and Mary Beth and Dani and Mary and Dot in the SICU, Mrs. G at Ireland Army Hospital, Terry and Eileen and Chuck and Chuck at Jefferson, Barb and Sean and Ellie in the ISICU, and Laurie and Barb and Cindy and Tessie and Ginny and Theresa and Paul at Methodist were all familiar and welcome faces to me.
My alltime, alltime favorite nurse in my career? Joanne in the Surgical Cardiac Care Unit at Jefferson. Joanne was working with me on the first day of internship (yes, I was one day removed from being a medical student) when I was on call by myself in the unit. It was the night of the Surgery Department Annual Dinner and everyone was at the party across town with their beepers off, as there were only two “rock-stable” patients in the unit. Well, of course, rock-stable turned into code blue. Joanne stayed absolutely calm, recommended in a nice way what she thought we should do in terms of getting a breathing tube inserted, drawing the labs and getting a chest x-ray, getting the correct large venous and arterial lines inserted, and what medications to give to get his heart started again. And then, at the end of the night when the patient was out of danger and on the way to recovery, she calmly and matter-of-factly signed out this patient to the next shift and quietly went home to her husband and two daughters.
My alltime favorite.
Copyright 2006 Insidesurgery.com