The longer I work and experience life in critical care, the more I realize how incredibly little I know. The body is a phenomenal and fascinating organism. Chemical, hormonal, mechanical, electrical functions all working in concert to orchestrate the moment by moment intricate functioning of homeostasis.
Intervening requires understanding. Diagnosis requires understanding. Treatment requires understanding.
I had a conversation with a former student recently. A student who is in the beginning stages of her nursing career, about to come off orientation. She said she was afraid to go off orientation, afraid she’d miss something.
I told her she would. She would miss things. I told her that I do. I miss things.
I’m good at my job, but I’m not perfect. I know a lot, but there is more that I don’t know than I do know. I try not to miss things, but I do. I miss things.
I told her to do her best, to take peace in that.
Most days, I walk away taking peace in the truth that I did my best.
But, intervening, diagnosing, defining treatment is a life or death matter. Missing things can result in death. The responsibility of that truth can at times leave little room for peace.
In place of peace, I am left with a consistent feeling of reverence for the body and the phenomenal and fascinating organism it is. But I am also left with worry and fear (stress), with wonder and a desire to grow (eustress).
The desire to grow, the desire to know more, the desire to not miss things interestingly intertwines within the chemical, hormonal, mechanical, and electrical functions of my own homeostasis.