Thursday, September 12, 2013

Someone Will Always Be There

It never stops. They are always there: the patients, lying in their beds; the nurses, caring.

There is never a time when someone isn’t there, never a time when the unit isn’t fully employed with people actively caring.  

When I’m away I sometimes think about the unit, the patients. I wonder how they are, how they’re doing.

Every unit I have every worked in has patients lying in beds at this exact moment with a full staff of nurses caring for them. They have never stopped.

It’s daunting sometimes to think about, to know that it will never stop, that they are always there, that there will always be a need.

Weekends, night time, holidays, Saturday morning, Thursday afternoon, Monday night, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the Super Bowl. There is never a moment when there is not a need.

There is a responsibility of those who know to teach those who don’t know, this ensures that someone will always be there.

Teaching allows me an opportunity to always be there without having to always be there. Teaching provides an opportunity to create a legacy.

Teaching bridges the present with the future.

So, I find myself coming to a new bridge to cross, a new challenge to meet.

My goal has been to learn and experience and grow so that I would have a deep wealth of knowledge in varied areas of healthcare to share when the opportunity approached and the time was right.

The more I’ve learned, the more I realize how very little I know.

I’m excited about the coming months, the coming semester. I look forward to the spring of 2014 and the promise it brings, the opportunity it holds, the changes it will yield, and the new bridge to cross.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Caffeine and Diphenhydramine

Caffeine and Diphenhydramine

I look forward to the day in which these two agents don’t dictate my sleep/wake cycle, but the sun and the moon do, days that aren’t slept away and nights that are for resting.
It seems as much as life has continuously changed the last few years that it really hasn’t changed at all. For all my doing and traveling and going and learning I’ve really stayed in the same place.

Around the world and back again. But was I orbiting the world or was I allowing it to orbit me?

We had a retirement party for a coworker the other day. I watched the video of times gone by and remembered some of those times from my previous time at Vanderbilt. I wondered what it would be like to be somewhere for so long? I remember what it was like to be somewhere for so long.

I never imagined that my work would become my life. I thought my children would. But my child is furry with four legs, not a red head with two. I so deeply love her, though.

I’m excited about the future, about life, about work. I’m excited about the paths coming up. I’m excited for new experiences, new horizons, and new challenges.

Life is such a gift and I’m so thankful for all that it brings, and all the amazing opportunities I've had.

I am truly truly blessed.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Diary of an ICU Nurse and Why Doctors Die Differently

There are a lot of truths in this article: Diary of an ICU nurse.

And this one: Why Doctors Die Differently

I suppose there are moments when each of us who work in the intensive care setting has to ask ourselves what we are really doing for, or more appropriately, to our patients.

Dying is hard. Watching a loved one die is harder, it hurts.

We are all going to die. How do you want to die?

It really isn’t a joke. We all say we are going to tattoo DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) to our chests. We all tell each other to not let “them” do this to us. Funny though, we are “them”. We tell each other not to do what we do to other people to ourselves. And the saddest part of all is that we mean it.

We don’t want 911 called. We don’t always choose chemo. We don’t want CPR or ACLS. We all would choose to die.

We all would choose to die.


There is no failure in death. There is no failure in allowing the natural to occur. There is no failure in receiving one’s fate. Yet we fight it.

Life is a beautiful and most precious affair. The goal is to not demote or negate its beauty. But death is a part of life. And believe it or not, there can be great beauty, great comfort, great peace, and even great joy in a quality death.

Hospice and Palliative care are greatly needed and greatly underutilized options that can help achieve a quality death.

Please talk to your family. Please talk to your ICU team. Please ask the hard questions. There is no reason not to and so many reasons to do.