When I was walking into work the other day I thought- nursing takes us on a journey. We meet people when they didn’t know they were going to come into hospital as a patient, there are so many variables in life – who knows what is going to happen next?
When a person is in ill health or even in pain their demeanour, emotions, feelings and temperament is affected — sometimes patients surrender to the hands of health professionals and yet their uniqueness of character is never lost.
At times nurses can’t help being pulled into a patients/persons life when their guards are down, its funny even in the environment of a hospital, a nurse can’t help capturing some moments –
1. Who Knows What Is Going To Happen Next In Life? –
A mother started her morning like any other day, she had two children which she rushed to get them ready for school, she made sure they were fed and then drove them to school. But during the night she had an aching pain around her abdomen, she brushed it off and in the morning whilst she made sure that the kids were having their breakfast, she could feel the pain becoming worse.
She persisted through the pain and dropped the kids off at school, her intention was to book an appointment with her General practitioner (GP), but the the pain was overwhelming. She decided to drive herself to the emergency department (ED) and parked her car in the hospital carpark.
It was discovered she had appendicitis and required surgery for an appendectomy, she stayed overnight post surgery and was discharged home in her partners care the next day.
It’s amazing how a person can wake one morning and try to continue life with their normal routine to suddenly finding themselves in the emergency department and being admitted for an overnight stay in a hospital as a patient.
2. Loss Of Control –
Only one week ago a gentlemen in his 80’s was a healthy and independent person living a normal life, he was out with his friends at a cafe where he suffered a stroke, an ambulance was quickly called for.
A week later he is on a hospital ward needing a substantial amount of care from the nurses, they help him with feeding so he can eat food and drink, they assist him with walking, also attend to his showering needs and help him when he needs the toilet.
Since being in hospital he was using a walking frame for his safety, it was explained to him on several occasions that he required assistance from a nurse to help him walk, but not long ago he wasn’t needing any mobility aids and he definitely didn’t need another person to help him walk.
Not realising how much his health and function declined he tried to stand by himself, not being able to support his weight- he fell. It was clear he did not want the nurses assistance, he was not confused in any way, he was yet to acknowledge and accept the changes that happened to his health and may be he was fighting for any independence he had left.
The change he was going through was from grieving – his trajectory of life spiralled out of control, he was angry and in a place that is extremely lonely and scary.
3. Ever Lasting Love –
Sitting behind the nurses station at work and as a registered nurse, I was completing what I felt as though was the never ending pile of paperwork as I was nearing the end of my shift.
As I was writing the notes I had a glance on a patient who had dementia, when I looked into the gentleman’s room which was directly in front of me the morning sun was shining brightly into the room and reflected onto a silver picture frame. The picture was him as a young man, he was in an action pose whilst striking a cricket ball with a bat. In the room he was lying on his bed, I could see he had his eyes open glazing at the ceiling, his mind had drifted as though he was allowing time to pass.
The lift doors open and an elegant lady with long silver hair carefully navigated her way to his room with a walking frame. There was no verbal communication and no sounds at all as she placed her frame to the side of his bed, he remained still, she perched on the frame to be by him and she gently placed her hand on his. He looked towards her and they locked eye contact with each other, I witnessed their fondness for each other as he had a comforting smile, he was no longer a patient in that moment he was a husband and a lover.
– I looked around, did anyone else see what I did? or
– Did anyone feel that air of calmness?
Everyone else on the ward was busy in their day, there was the usual hustle and bustle of some people chattering and others with looks of concentration on their faces. Yet I felt an enriched warmness, the glimpse of the world of the older couple allowed me the privilege to see enduring affection being displayed.
Even with these moments being captured many years ago, they never have left me. Meeting very different people in my work environment allows me to embrace a sight into who a person is, all whilst being a nurse.