The nurse who can smile when things are going wrong is going off duty!
Archive for April, 2011
We’d just gotten a new resident on the skilled nursing floor where I work, and I was taking his history. Mr. J was a really nice guy, very friendly and amiable. He shared that he’d been retired for a while now.
“What type of work did you do?” I asked him.
“I used to be a building contractor, but now I’m a secret agent.”
I thought I didn’t hear him right. “What did you say?”
“I’m a secret agent,” Mr. J laughed. He lifted his hand, and I could see he had Parkinson’s. “I’m shaking, not stirred!”
Contributed by Rita R, Illinois
Dear Nurse Marge,
When did nursing become an endurance race? I start running the moment I get to work and the pace never drops off until it’s time to give report! I get home and drop into bed exhausted. I don’t remember the first twenty years being anything like this – but I’m worried that if I can’t keep up I’ll be left without a job! What gives?
Slow and Steady
Dear Slow and Steady,
Remember that you’ve got it in you to win the race! Being a faster nurse doesn’t mean you’re a better nurse: moving too quickly actually increases the risk of mistakes, errors, and things that cause paperwork – and nobody wants that! If that means ratcheting back the speed a notch or two, so be it – you’ll be a happier, better nurse for it. There will always be days when it’s all out, all day, but every shift shouldn’t be like that!
PS. 20 years ago, the patients were slower and sicker. I blame health food myself.
“You either love working peds or you don’t work peds.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this nursing ‘wisdom’. There’s more than a grain of truth to it: generally nurses who specialize in pediatrics tend to love their work passionately.
However, enjoying what you do doesn’t mean that you don’t have challenges on the job – and if you’ve never attempted to make a bed with one hand, while holding a baby in the other and figuring out dosages by weight in your mind, you don’t know challenging! (And if you can master that, try finding scrubs that don’t show formula stains!)
Luckily, humor can help ease some of the challenges of pediatric nursing. Here are three ways humor helps make life with pediatric patients easier: (more…)