What humility, what gravitas! In ‘nurse-speak,’ that’s code for, ” I was so busy, I barely had time to think!” “I was so busy, I was running on auto-pilot,” or “I was so busy that I was running on fumes.”
When your nurse is running on AUTOMATIC PILOT, know that beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the skills, the basics, the education, the ability to ‘think[ing] on her feet’ are the best they can be. That the best solid nursing skills were second nature to her and etched in stone. This could be your life.
There’s no need for that amount of drama, but each shift, my nurse artfully assessed my condition numerous times and her aid was given instructions, also. The aide may not always be aware of the complete un for her tasks, but knowing that she is the second set of eyes and ears for the nurse, she dutifully executes her chores and God help the person who dares cross her. For, when the nurse speaks, people listen!
Nurses study anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, and psychology; many of them possess college, advanced and graduate degrees.
“Nurses have many ways of gauging fluid retention and dehydration, but sometimes rely on a gentle pinch of a patient’s skin. …[they] know heart irregularities, read EKGs, and are responsible for notifying the doctor to discuss and provide treatment. Also, nurses must notify doctors when wounds show signs of poor healing and possible infection. Assessments of skin, nails, hair and laboratory values help determine nutritional status.” 1
So, the next time your nurse isn’t at your bedside and you don’t see her at the nurse’s station, she’s likely providing that “more than I usually do…” care for someone else and feel lucky that you escaped her watchful eye and she only needed to tell you I’ll be back!
So, you hear of a nursing shortage? to be able to fill the shoes of a nurse is more than gratifying. As a nurse, just by doing your daily job, without beating extraordinary odds, you make a difference in someone’s life. Often incorrectly considered ‘junior doctors,’ nursing science stands alone. Articles abound about the reasons for a nursing shortage.
1 Vol. 1 •Issue 5 • Page 10, Issue Date: June 09, 2003, Express Yourself, ADVANCE FOR NURSES
Just a Nurse?