I do not write a lot about work these days. I miss it; the sharing. This blog started as a way for me to share, chronicle, and vent my journey through this career. Lately though, I've become much more aware and scared of violating HIPAA.
Recently, I have taken care of the same patient the last five times at work. This continuity of care is important for the patient, but I also feel---for the nurse, too (to a point, depending on your relationship with the patient).
This patient has HIV/AIDS. I feel like I have made such a connection with this patient that on my days off, I do wonder and even worry about him/her. I stop myself from calling in to work for an update. Prior to this patient deteriorating further, we had a long discussion about food, as we would since with this disease, wasting syndrome has taken over, and nutrition has become quite important. This patient told me their love for whole wheat pancakes in the morning. Immediately, I mentioned Kodiak cakes! I love them because they're whole wheat, no preservatives or funky ingredients, and so easy because all you do is add water.
As soon as I got home, I put my extra box of Kodiak Cakes by the door. And the next time I worked, I gave it to the patient. Unfortunately, at this point, the patient is receiving nutrition through a tube going through their nose and into small intestine, but that's besides the point. I felt compelled to do something or give something to this patient. I don't know why!!
You see, you connect with most of your patients, but honestly, not all. And for whatever reason, there are those special patients that truly connect with you on a deeper level. Sometimes it is hard to see patients as just regular people when they're in the hospital setting; a lot of them begin to look and feel the same after so many 12 hour shifts.
But then, there's some that just strike you, and you realize this is a person with a life outside of this immediate sickness and you feel true empathy. I love that. It lifts me up and helps me feel like I actually am "making a difference." Nursing is not glamorous, by any means. And not everyone even respects the profession; mostly those who have never seen a nurse in action. But I must say, I am humbled by the patients who touch my heart, and at the same time, I feel proud of what I do for a living; and for what I do to help these specific patients. For me, when it comes to making these connections, the care that's provided becomes mutual. It's a relationship with two people--each giving a little bit, and each benefiting from the other's presence...