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.
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.