Sunday, December 12, 2004

Unsung Hospital Heroes: Nurses!

Yes, dear bloggies....I was in the ER again today. And while there, I had a chance to reflect on my more recent posts here a little. I know of late I've complained a great deal about Tin God doctors. And there are many, all truly worthy of a good tongue-lashing. But I think that perhaps in my zeal, I've overlooked a particular group of people who are invaluable, and deserving of praise: emergency room nurses.

I had a great nurse today at the ER. She was compassionate, caring, and helpful. The ER was a mess today, with a huge influx of people needing care. It was nice that in this healthcare hurricane, my nurse still found the time to give that extra personal attention that can make all the difference in the world to someone in pain.

Hospital nurses, to the person with a chronic illness, are important allies. Doctors all too often breeze in with their clipboards, give you a once-over, write down their orders and breeze out again. It's the nurses who execute those orders, the nurses who administer pain relief (and sometimes, some much needed comic relief as well), the nurses who provide the essential hands-on care. All to often, it's the nurses who bring your needs to the attention of the doctors, and make sure you get the care you need. And it doesn't take great observational skills to notice that the nurses work their tails off....far harder, in my opinion, than do most doctors.I am grateful to the nurses who have cared for me over the years.

Now, to be fair, there are bad nurses out there. I've run into a few myself, most notably the labor & delivery nurse who told me, after 16 hours of back labor, that I "didn't hurt." Trust me, NO woman wants to be told what does and does not hurt after 16 hours of back labor! But all in all, I think the number of good nurses far exceed the bad ones.

And thank God for that!


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