My kids love asking me all about my adventures when I was working in the hospital before they were born. They love to hear all about how I had to work all night long, while the rest of the world was sleeping. They never get tired of asking exactly what kinds of things I did during my shifts as an Orthopedic nurse.I do a pretty good job of glossing over the 3:00 a.m. runs down to the cafeteria for Zingers and instead try to focus on you the, you know, actual work my job entailed.They are endlessly fascinated hearing about the patient I had who required leech therapy to heal his finger wound. They think it is just the coolest thing ever that I had to pluck the engorged leeches off his finger and hand carry them in specimen jars to the lab to be disposed of properly. Honestly, looking back on it now, it is pretty amazing.Because I worked on a post-surgical unit, most of my work stories involve pain management. Let’s just say some patients were easier than others. For instance, we used the standard 0-10 pain scale, known in the medical community as the Wong Baker pain scale. My sister and I get endless enjoyment out of the fact that it took two people apparently to come up with a pain scale that essentially is a bunch of variations of a happy face, but I digress.
I used to tell my patients that a 10 on the pain scale was the equivalent of their hand being in a fire, since a wise mentor nurse once advised me that people do better describing things that they can visualize. Needless to say, I was pretty surprised one night when a patient called out stating his pain was a 12. I quickly gathered his medicine and upon entering his room found him to be sound asleep and snoring. Obviously, he used the “man cold” pain scale to describe the way he was feeling.
While I no longer work the night shift at the hospital, I still keep my nursing license current and use it in a variety of ways to stay active. I enjoy doing flu shot clinics throughout the fall each year. I also love having the opportunity to sub in the health room at my childrens’ school, because that is where I can combine my nursing AND mom skills!
My girls ask me a lot about my decision to become a nurse and tell me all the time that they when they grow up they want to be a nurse just like me! I tell them that they couldn’t make a better career choice!
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