As a critical care nurse I used to have some really sad patient stories. I cared for the patients myself and felt the pain of the patients and families very personally…sometimes too personally.
Now I have responsibility for the infection control issues on several different units, often with very high risk diagnosis such as oncology/bone marrow transplant, organ (liver, kidney, pancreas) transplant and neonates, often less than 750 grams ….
I read the medical records, try to meet the patients…put a face to name….celebrate when they go home…and grieve the bad outcomes.
As I move on with my education and take a more global influence over nursing practice at my hospital I still remain, at heart, an ADN (associate degree in nursing)-considered the lowest, most basic of nurses. In my escalating nursing role, I savor “reading” patients…I relish the time I have to ask questions and wait for their response unlike when I was a bedside nurse rushing around like a nut.
Instead of taking care of just one patient, I now “care” for many patients and I mentor the bedside nurses to “care” about their patients also.