When I grow up, I don’t want to be a nurse

I have known from a very young age that nursing was not my dream profession.  Hospitals have never appealed to me, volunteering at retirement homes was the worst part of being a girl scout, and comforting people while they cry is just not something I do.  That being said, let me just say right now that I completely respect and admire people who are nurses and can do those things.

This whole issue of nursing has come up recently because my mother had a total knee replacement two weeks ago and my father is continuing his fight against cancer.  Anyway, the day of Mom’s surgery I spent the day in the hospital waiting room doing just that.  The following days I dropped by to see her, bring her things from the outside world, and just hang out.  All that, not so bad.  Then Mom was released and went home.  That’s when the real fun began.  Now (Mom), I want to be clear that I am not complaining about any of this but I just want to share what I have learned so far in my nursing/care-giving adventure 🙂

1. Hospitals and nurses need to remember that the patients best interest should come first.  “Do first and ask permission later” should be a more widespread motto. 

2. Pharmacists may have degrees, but that doesn’t mean they are smart.  Plan to make at least twice as many trips as you think you should have to and prepare to wait twice as long for a prescription to be filled.  Oh, and don’t expect any pharmacy to have everything you need.  It’s just not going to happen.

3. Ice circulation machines require ice constantly.  Like big blocks of ice every two hours.  So if your freezer is two stories down, get ready for a quad workout.  And when you stack containers full of water on frozen containers, it doesn’t help cool the water, instead it melts the ice below.

4. Never turn down an offer for a meal.  If someone wants to be nice and bring over food, just say yes and figure out what it is or when you can eat it later.  It’s better to have too much than not enough.  (Thanks to everyone who has dropped things off, it’s been wonderful!)

5. Write down medications as you give them and absolutely keep them in their labeled containers.  My parents have numerous types of meds right now and looking for the “teal-ish, oval pill” is a lot harder than searching for a specific name on a label… although sometimes the generic brands have different names than what your patients are saying, so look for the small print.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jane Schwalm
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 19:40:46

    You are a wonderful daughter to both of your parents and I know how much they love you. It is not easy being a caergiver and you have done such a fantastic job.

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  2. Jessica Jones
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 21:23:42

    agreed. though i certainly can’t relate to everything that’s going on in your life, i can definitely empathize with the ice cooler. My mom’s knee also required copious amounts of ice, more ice than I had ever dreamed existed in our tiny freezer. I found that freezing water bottles lightened the demands made upon the over-worked ice maker, and that, for whatever reason, they seemed to need less replenishing. hope all’s well, best of luck with future icy endeavors.

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