The Other Side of the Call Bell

Posted under: family, health, nursing, philosophy, psychology.
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I work as a nursing unit secretary in both the intensive care and the step-down cardiology units at the hospital. I think I’m more cynical than I used to be. It’s easy to become complacent, and even judgmental toward patients. During one of my shifts an obese patient requested donuts, cookies and pie. Even if we did stock those items in the cardiology unit, I would not have given them to him. After receiving chest compressions and a defibrillator treatment in CICU, a patient sat up and asked for a cigarette. One night we had a patient suffering from alcohol withdrawals and undergoing detoxification. He kept yelling at everyone to get out of his house, and I had to call security when he jumped out of bed and threatened the nurses. Two rooms over another patient was constantly yelling…all night. She would scream “I want to go to sleep!” and “I want my meds!” After the nurse gave her some, she screamed “That ain’t enough!” Do these patients realize why they were admitted in the first place? I would like to say to them, “You brought this on yourself. I have no sympathy.” Nurse_BettyBoop

I answer the call bell when patients ring out. Patients push a button in their room which rings a box on my desk. I pick up the receiver and ask them what they need, then respond appropriately. It is often frustrating when the same few patients ring out constantly for seemingly trivial matters, monopolizing the time and attention of the RNs and CNAs. As often as I can, I try to help the patients myself rather than to call for the CNAs or nurses. I’ve noticed that the more I interact personally with the patients, the more compassionate and empathetic I feel toward them, and the more eager I am to help them. I understand how a nurse can develop a special bond with his/her patients. When the nurse takes on the responsibility of certain patients, he/she is accountable for them, takes ownership, and forms a connection with them. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (2) May 21 2013

A Slow Decline

Posted under: health, nursing, philosophy, psychology.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Brent has done a wonderful and thorough job recounting my health problems this past year through his blog. However, I wanted to share my experience from my own perspective, so here it is.

In early June of last year my endocrinologist diagnosed me with diabetes insipidus, in which the body doesn’t hold onto water as it should. Later that month I saw my primary care doctor for a gash on my shin that wasn’t healing.Zebra After taking my blood sugar, doing some lab tests, and consulting with my endocrinologist, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I went through the entire gamete of keeping close track of what I ate, counting my carbs, recognizing the symptoms of hyper- and hypoglycemia, checking by glucose levels, and giving myself insulin shots.

This was not the end of it. I was experiencing an onslaught of symptoms: problems with cognitive function (thought process/memory/concentration), lethargy, fatigue, muscle weakness and atrophy, abdominal fat accumulation, mood swings, anxiety, dizziness, loss of balance and coordination, easy bruising, slow healing wounds, weight loss, and increased blood pressure. Finally a state of severe confusion and disorientation in mid-August prompted my doctor to call an ambulance to take me to the emergency room. Apparently my ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) levels were excessively high, causing high levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. This resulted in a diagnosis of severe cushing’s syndrome. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (17) May 14 2013

A Bit of Humor, In Song

Posted under: entertainment, poems & songs.

I enjoy writing poetry and songs, and occasionally I compose something less serious. The following songs I posted to add some comic relief to my blog.

To the tune of “Frosty the Snowman”
April 1996

Frosty the hit man
Was the most feared of his day.
He was paid to kill,
And he did it well;
So his neighbors stayed away.

Frosty the hit man
Was as sly as he could be.
His recipients
Never had the chance
To discreetly hide or flee.

There must have been a gun within
That overcoat he wore.
For every time he reached inside
There were victims on the floor.

Oh, Frosty the hit man
Wasn’t asked out much, it’s true.
Cause when he went out
With the gang, no doubt
He’d come back with one or two.

His friends would cry, “Why don’t you try
To learn a different trade?”
But he’d remark, “I love my work,
And admit that I’m well paid.”

Bangity bang bang,
Bangity bang bang.
Look at Frosty work.
Bangity bang bang,
Bangity bang—
He was more than just a jerk!

To the tune of “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”
Summer 1994

They asked me what was wrong
When I stopped my song.
Oh—singing in the shower
Gives you unknown power
In that relaxing hour.

I started out just fine;
Suddenly I’m blind.
Oh—so I rub my eyes.
Pain begins to rise—
Soap gets in my eyes!

So I fell, and then began to yell—
The pain was too much to bear.
Oh, that sting is worse than anything.
You wish you were not there.

Now, all my friends have said
That my eyes look red.
Oh—when your in the shower
Accidents may arise—
Soap gets in your eyes.

Soap gets in your eyes!

Comments (2) May 11 2013