"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"

Friday, October 14, 2011

I can't Hear Anything You're Saying

Here's the thing.

To my fellow nurses: Do patients try and talk to you while you're listening to them with a stethoscope?

To everyone else: Do you try and talk to the doctor/nurse when they are listening with a stethoscope?

To everyone else: They can't hear you!

I have had so many times now where I say, "Mr. Soandso, I am going to listen to your heart. Or, Mrs Jane, I'm going to take your blood pressure." And they say, OK. Then theyre quiet.

But then, as you listen to their heart, they start telling you this story. About their aunt who had "something called a-fib" and it made her heart go fast so she had to take coumadin and then change her diet and then she couldn't feed her cat anymore and then the cat had a baby and then the neighbor's kid came over and gave it a carrot even though no one likes carrots, apparantly.

And the whole time I'm thinking.......Should I tell my patient that I'm not listening *at all* to anything you are saying while the stethoscope is on your body somewhere and the other end is in my ears? The purpose of the stetho is to listen to whats going on inside your body. Granted, when I'm listening to your heart, I can hear your stories *loud and clear*, in fact its rather amplified and muffled. However I can't listen to your heartbeat. Also, if I'm taking your blood pressure, I can't hear your voice OR the pulse if you're talking.

So, I just think its funny. Don't talk when someone has a stetho on you, unless they ask you the question! If you notice, docs/nurses will ask you a question when the stetho is still in their eyes but as soon as they see you start to answer they will pull it out of their ears. Also, I think patients are fooled easily because docs/ nurses often do TALK while the stetho is in, but thats because we're just letting you know what we're doing, i.e "Ok I'm going to listen to your bowel sounds now" , or "Can you lean forward for me and take some deep breaths?" And I think patients think that if we can talk during these quiet listening moments, then so can they. Sigh.

Its been absolutely crazy though. I'm up to six patients, and done with orientation! How INSANE is that?!!!?!(#@#@#P22131JWE#E!@



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