"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?"

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Not in My World

So this post is about an issue that has come up recently in my little nursing world. Very recently, only over the past week have I noticed it but it's happened 5-6 times in separate instances...

So in case you don't know my nursing history, I was an aide for five years until I graduated nursing school and was hired, at the same hospital as an R.N. For awhile I struggled accepting the differences between being a nurse aide and a registered nurse. I couldn't grasp the fact that now I had to delegate tasks to my coworkers that used to be the same position as me, but now they were beneath me. I knew how busy they were because I had been in their exact shoes. So I became determined to always try and do everything myself and only ask for help from the aides when my patients safety depends on it.

Then this year I came over to a new hospital, where it was a little easier to accept the boundaries between being an RN and the aide. I respect my new aides very much and still always try to help them out, even with patients that are not my own. I try and only ask for help when either I cannot do it or another patient needs me more or I just need an extra hand in the room.

 But recently, my patients (like I said, 5-6 different patients within the past week) have done something peculiar.

I go into the room to do my nursing assessment, or perhaps give them a medication of some kind. This one patient asked me the other day, "Do you have CNAs (nurse aides) or something?" I said "Yes, we do." She said, "Can you please send one in when you have a chance, I need some ice water." I looked perplexed, I  said back- "well I can certainly get you some ice water, I'll be right back." and she quickly said, "No no, you're the RN, you have much more important things to do. Send a CNA in." This was the first time I had ever heard something like this. I assured her I had the time to do it and I wanted to get her ice water and that I did.

A couple of other patients have done the same thing, and its only been recently. A male patient I had last night spilled a drink of water and needed a new set of napkins, and a towel to clean up the water. I said "sure, I'll be right back" and when I got back, he said, "you didn't have to do that, that is dirty work, i know you have more important things to do."

I looked up at him , almost incredulously- as this was the 5th or 6th this same instance had happened with other patients, and I assured him that helping him and making him feel better in any way was just as important to me as anything else. I don't mind doing anything, that is my job-regardless or not if it can also be the aides job. In fact I think I think it's even in my hospitals nursing policy that we do not leave any room without making sure the patient has everything they need and they are happy. If they aren't happy, we need to find a person with different capabilities that can make them happy. I don't know why my patients have gotten it in their head that the RNs are "better" than the aides. We aren't better. We just can do different things for our patients. Just like I don't necessarily consider doctors "better" than RNs, they just do different things. Sure, I respect the doctors I work with and they are obviously a vital part of health care. But so are nurses. And so are aides. Ok I've gone off on a tangent.

Anyway, my boyfriend has puppy eyes and is staring at me over top my computer screen waiting for me to finish, so I'm wrapping this up. Sorry for the short blog, I just wanted to write about it since its happened so many times recently....and it just doesn't fly in my world.

With Love, WNB


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with your view point. When I worked the floor, the hospital I was at rarely had aides: it was a primary nurse care model. So, I - as the RN with 4-6 patients - did it all, with the help of my co-workers: pass meds, do procedures, turn patients, and yes - get them fresh water! When we DID have an aide, we were always glad to have an extra set of hands, yet she was only 1 person who could only do so much. All health care workers are responsible for caring for patients under their care.