Saturday, October 25, 2008

The will to live....

You may or may not know that in my real job I work as a nurse in a critical care unit. I used to work in the emergency department but after a while found that I needed a bit of a change and so I made a move that seemed to be the natural progression for me. In the ED I would work to stabilize patients and get them moved out to which ever unit could then continue to provide them the care they required. It made sense to go from that to "The Unit" where I would learn (and am continuing to learn) how to provide continued care to patients who suffer from a whole host of medical problems.

I could go on and on about all the things I'm learning but I just wanted to take a moment to say that the one thing that has struck me the most is just how resilient people are and how strong the will to live is in certain folks. It never ceases to amaze me that human beings can bounce back (albeit slowly) from the most debilitating circumstances. Just when you think maybe it's time to prepare for the worst something happens and before you know it the patient you didn't think would ever wake up again is slowly opening their eyes. They're following commands. They get extubated. They're getting transferred out of the unit and are going to a floor bed.

I like to sometimes think that we, as care providers, did something that made a difference. That we somehow helped this person in their deepest, darkest hour of need to make the decision to fight, to stay alive. Maybe it was simply by talking to them while in their room. Making them more comfortable by propping and padding with pillows. Washing their faces. Combing their hair. Touching their hands and assuring them that someone is always there watching over them. Oh I know there's more to it like administering meds yadda, yadda, yadda. But I think it's the human touch that can make the difference between staying or going. Does that make any sense?

I am humbled by each and every person for whom I have had the honor to care for. I have learned something from each of them. They have all had a strength I can only hope to have should I ever find myself in similar circumstances.

1 comment:

Studio Marcy - Marcy Lamberson said...

I am absolutely positive that these patients are very, very lucky to have you as their care giver too. What a touching post.