Thursday, September 16, 2010
I thought all the lessons I had learned from Chris and his passing were so obvious but I didn't realize yet another one until Tuesday. Mondays and Tuesdays is when I have my clinical hours at Mercy. These are my favorite days out of the week because I get to practice what I've been taught. I love my patients, each and every one of them, and every week seems to present a new task. However, they usually all have something in common: pain. Whether it's muscle pain, wound pain, fracture pain, etc., they all have it from mild to severe. All to often I see nurses on the floor in a hurry moving thier painful patients to fast, too hard, or doing quick and forceful wound care leaving the patient in tremendous amounts of pain. Now, I know that in some procedures pain is unavoidable, but to what degree? Here is where I owe Chris yet again for such an amazing lesson. Chris had immense leg pain and whenever he was moved in any way, we had to be extremely careful and extremely gentle. It hurt no matter what but slow and steady seemed to less painful than quick and forceful. This has translated in to every patient of mine, especially those with wounds. I absolutely love wound care so I commonly ask for patients with abscesses or ulcers or incisions that require dressing changes. Usually when I enter the room with all my supplies I can see my patients becoming anxious. I always hear about "the nurse before". How painful something was, or how carelessly something was done. I always tell them that I will be as gentle as possible and typically my patients are amazed at how pain free the dressing change was. I realized how much Chris influenced my gentleness when my patient Tuesday asked if I could come back and always do her dressing changes. It was good to hear but it was so great to realize that during such a horrid time, I learned such an amazing lesson that i continually put in to practice. So thank you again Chris for the subtle things you taught me, probably without even knowing it.