I am pretty hard on myself at my new (can I still call it new, 4 months into it?) job. Learning all of the different procedures and how to set up for them, along with all the different (but so similar) cancers our patients are battling has been way harder than I ever anticipated. I find that I sometimes become so task oriented, I put blinders on to everything else.
Just a little bit ago, I had a flashback to my sisters incident. She encountered A LOT of medical professionals. When she was in the ICU, I was constantly critiquing and analyzing the people who cared for her. Want to know the one person I remember the most? It wasn't the nurse who had been working in the ICU for 20 years and was extremely comfortably and knowledgeable in her role. It wasn't the cardiologist who ended up being the one to put the defibrillator in my sister. It was the nurse who was fresh out of nursing school. The only person that instead of saying, "Can you step out for about an hour? I am going to do my assessment and then we are going to reposition her." Instead she said to me, "How about we wash your sister's hair today...you will help, right?" She is the one who NEVER made me leave. As I gently braided my sister's hair, she was on the other side, wiping her face with a warm cloth. We talked a lot. She listened. She turned a blind eye to all of the things people were bringing us (snacks, magazines, etc.) because technically, they weren't allowed. I will never forget her and how she made me feel.
Remembering those moments helps me to lighten up on myself. I will never know all the in's and out's of gynecologic cancers and treatments. While I would love to understand all of it, it's not entirely possible. I need to remember there is so much more than just knowing how to enter a CT scan into the ordering program and setting up a tray for a colposcopy. It's more than listening, it's actually HEARING. It's more than just having patients...it's seeing them as people. Mother's, daughter's, sister's. It's about making them feel as if they are the only patient at that exact moment, when in reality, the clinic is swarming with people. It's about sitting down when they talk. It's about being genuine. Letting them know you care about them.
Thank you, Leslie, for helping me be a better nurse. You are my inspiration and you keep me going when things are difficult.