Why I am a Nurse

When I think about the poor perception of the nursing profession from those on the outside and the negative stereotypes associated with the word ‘nurse,’ I cringe.

The bedpan changer. The physician handmaiden. The person who follows orders.

One of my missions, as I proudly represent nursing, is to be, say and do things to change how outsiders, and insiders to the medical world look at nurses. This encompasses how talk about being a nurse both inside and outside the hospital.

Probably the most important thing I try to impress on people is the fact that the NURSE is the eyes, ears and soul of the team. We are the gate keepers with an aura of “nursing intuition” that touches each patient.

This intuition has saved countless patients. I till tell the story about an orthopaedic, med-surg nurse who has been on the job for 20+ years. I was a newbie NP in an unfamiliar area. It took quite some time for her to feel me out, deciding if she should trust me or not. What she didn’t know was that I was watching her as well. Learning from her.

One morning she grabbed me by the arm and in her very Pattie voice looked at me over her glasses and said, “Emily, there is just something not right about this patient. They are going to code.” I walked into the room to a slightly restless, but awake, coherent patient. I went with her intuition.

The patient was transferred to the ICU via CT for a pulmonary embolism within the next hour and a half.

This post over at Overactive Imagination brought that day back in living color. Below are two parts of the post, but please read it in its entirety.

Yes, I am bragging.:
I called a stroke today. I walked into a patients room to do routine 7a vitals and something just seemed “off” about him although he was sitting up in the chair talking to me . . .

. . . I called the charge nurse and had her alert the stroke team. They were there in minutes and took him for a stat CT and then to the unit (CCU-Critical Care Unit) . . .

Many days are routine. I do my job for the small moments. A smile and a thank you. An impromptu hug from a grateful family member. However, it is seconds like calling a stroke which set the profession of nursing apart from anything else.

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