Wednesday, July 16, 2008


This past weekend I was appalled.

A fellow nurse treated a patient with such disrespect and with such apathy as to border on contempt. The tone of voice, the attitude, the rolling of the eyes, the fake exasperated sigh: I don't think the RN touched him all night, not even with a stethoscope. Hell, I had to go over and put his leg back in bed after it had become lodged between the mattress and the metal side rail.

After a brief perusal of this patient's chart, the only pertinent medical history I could find was Parkinson's Disease.

I began to wonder, why even become a nurse if you, seemingly, hate your patients? Then, fighting back tears, I began to wonder what if my dad had to go to the ER? What if my dad had to go to this same ER? What if he had this particular RN? Would he be treated the same?

A few days ago, just before leaving for work, I found out my dad has Parkinson's. Looking back, it started a year ago with an occasional twitch in the right hand and progressing over a few months to a shaking in the right arm. In the past month he has progressed to a rhythmic spasm on the entire right side of his body in what I can only assume is the swan song of his motor neurons.

Why him?
A devoted family man who loved and provided for his family
Deployed overseas multiple times
Served his country in two wars
Attends church regularly
Ministers to families with loved ones serving in Iraq
The list goes on....

If you're not already an agnostic or an atheist it's shit like this that leads you to it.

So tonight I'm off work and we're getting together as a family--my sister doesn't know yet.
H.C., I hope you'll understand if I can't make it to the shindig. Perhaps another time.


Heather said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. Parkinsons is a bitch, and my heart goes out to anyone who has it. Many hugs to you!

As much as I admire the nurses who work in the ER, I've always felt that the particular ones in our ER have lost everything about them that makes a good nurse. Compassion, heart. I also knew you'd make a good ER nurse, but not in that respect. I hope the ER doesn't turn you into one of those other assholes that work down there. You have a big heart, and I think that's one of your biggest assets as a nurse (a cute bum doesn't hurt either). If all else, you can always come back to your good old bastard floor. OR, go to the ICU. ICU nurses are also badass, and they still care about what they do.

Sad you couldn't make it to the shin-ding. I did cool stuff on the trampoline that my lower back will not let me forget anytime soon. I'm sure we'll have another campout, and you'll be able to join us.

Call if you need anything.

Janet said...

I'm very sorry about your dad. *hugs*

I'll bitch slap the nurse for you, too.