Thursday, November 15, 2007


I was going from the medication room to a patient room to hang a minibag of Vancomycin when I stopped to listen in on a conversation that two of the other nurses were having. One was the charge nurse of the day, an assignment that rotates among several of the staff nurses where I work. She was telling the other one that "sometimes she gets so stressed out by it all that she just doen't care anymore."

That happens a lot to nurses. After decades of staffing cuts and increasing levels of patient acuity, they have many work days in which all their ability to feel and care has been wrung out of them and steamrolled into oblivion.

"You wouldn't feel that way unless you had an ability to deeply care about other people to begin with," I had to say to her. I also offered my assistance but there wasn't anything simply task-related that I could help her do.

"It's what makes you such a good nurse and a good person, too; that way you care. Your baby's lucky to have you," I said, then I went to hang the Vanco. I didn't want to take over the conversation. I just wanted to take advantage of that little opportunity to offer some kind of support. Nurses basically have to give that to each other because otherwise there isn't enough of it.

And there isn't enough time.

1 comment:

may said...

time is never enough when people are involved. it feels like it just keeps getting shorter.