Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This Is Why

Every once in a while, everyone falls into a "funk". Whether it's with your job, relationship, finances, whatever... It happens. I have to admit, although I have my regular "gripes", I am genuinely content with my life as it is right now. Granted, work is frustrating, I'm terrified about B moving to Minnesota, and who couldn't use more money?... I am content.

Although some people's funks are more severe than others, everyone usually has that "A-Ha" moment when something happens and you realize "This is why I do what I do." I had my A-Ha moment last week. I was so upset to be starting a six day stretch of 12 hour shifts at my lovely job where everyone loves everyone and we all get along all the time...

Day One. Friday. Day shift. We didn't have too many patients, but I always feel out of my element when I work Day shift. Day starts out with an argument with a co-worker, a patient's blood pressure through the roof, and the call light ringing non-stop. I never knew that this busy day ahead was going to kick off an exhausting, yet extremely rewarding work week.

One of my patients was a six month old little boy with a urinary obstruction and an indwelling catheter. I deal with catheters all the time, but they are never on boys, and especially never on infants. As soon as I walked in the room to introduce myself and assess my little patient, I didn't know he was going to change my outlook on lots of things.

The first time I came in to see him. I was greeted with a scowl followed by crying... Typical for a ped who has been stuck umpteen times, had medicines forced down his throat, and an indwelling catheter placed, so I knew he would need some extra loving from Nurse Morgan. It breaks my heart when my patients don't like me, no matter how young or old they are.

Over the course of the next few days, I bonded with my little man and his wonderful parents. He would smile and play with me when I came to see him. I could slip in and out of his room when he was asleep, do what I had to do, and he'd never wake up. Maybe because he sensed it was Nurse Morgan and he was comfortable with that? That's the story I'm going with.

Day Five of my stretch, my little man got transferred to UMC for surgery. I was happy to see him feeling better and knowing he was about to be in very good hands, but sad that I had to come back to his empty room and him not be there. Thankfully, his wonderful parents kept me updated on his surgery and recovery. Not a day has gone by (even though I'm on vacation) that I haven't thought about that precious little boy. My A-Ha moment came the morning after his surgery when I got an update from my little man.

The message said:

"Dear Morgan- They have a wagon here that I've gotten to ride around in when I'm not hooked up to my IV. It's really fun, but not as much fun as you being my nurse! I love you."

I may get frustrated with my job, have nights where I say I want a new career, mornings where I just want to cry myself to sleep.... but it is moments, patients, families like this that make everything else worth it. This is why I'm a nurse. This is why I love what I do.

(***Thank you Jenn for allowing me to use these pics.)

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