Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rough Day

Today is one of those days where I wish I wasn't a nurse. I dream of having a job where life and death is not on the table. Where the pressure to be perfect and always "on" isn't quite so strong. Where family members aren't skeptical of you right off the bat. Where doctors talk to you like you are a human being and not a servant. There wasn't any one thing that happened that caused this horrible day... it was busy and crazy and exhausting as always. 
Today it felt hopeless though.... I felt hopeless. As in "what's the point?" hopeless. Two patients with metastatic CA that I am poking and prodding and watching everyone freak out about when really they should be on a morphine drip in the hospice unit.
I don't know what it was about today but I felt like a failure walking out of that ICU. Like I messed it all up... and honestly I think it is because I don't agree with what I do half the time I'm at work. Forcing procedures on patients who do not want heroic measures.... it just doesn't settle right with me. Nursing today is getting harder and harder. More responsibility, more expectation.... so much pressure and stress to never make a mistake. And for what? For a patient who is going to die in a matter of months... weeks or days even. We do all of this for what? Is it for the patient or for our own peace of mind?
In the end we all have to go at some point... at the very least we can go in as little pain as possible and with a bit of dignity left. A choice in it all. I never understood why people would want to become hospice nurses but now... now I get it. I have a feeling I might end up down that path someday myself. 
Right now, all I can do is go to sleep and hope that God will give me the grace to be an ICU nurse for a little bit longer. 


  1. Hugs are flying through the air to you! Tomorrow will be better.

  2. hang in- you bring love to all you touch- it's hard- you'd be a great palliative care unit nurse or hospice- for now- hang in there, it's a special role to be able to navigate an appropriate death, to accept death, when the pt or family is pushing full attempts at 'curative' care, when we know there is no cure. but you can help people transition- you can - you will be given the grace. praying for you!! (pray for us too, ebola's in uganda again)

  3. I feel your pain, anxiety, and frustration, Andrea.

    Not too long ago, in the name of research, I and my fellow ICU RN's had to follow a strict pathway in treating shock via massive fluid response which was supposed to facilitate high oxygen transport.

    What a collosal failure.

    All I can say to you is a quote from an old coach of mine..."Don't get your dobber down!"

    Or as the English said it so well..."Keep calm and carry on."

    Pick your remedy, and good luck to you.


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