There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark



Saturday, July 07, 2007

Nurse, I need a pain pill!

Here I am in all my nursiness in 1983. I am the redhead with the goggles. Behind me is my friend Ruth. My nursing years are still very vivid in my mind and I know I could still get and give shift report, start an IV, do a sterile dressing and many other nursie duties.

Why are we smiling so broadly? Because we are sitting on the physician's side of the station desk which was a sin, we were using the floor camera to have our pix taken which was a no-no, it was graveyard shift and we were probably exhausted.

The floor I worked on was a 52 bed unit; orthopaedics and neurology or, bones and brains as we called it. It was the floor I was working on when I met Steve, it was the floor I worked as an LVN, an RN, a nurse manager and one that I covered when I became a Clinical Case Manager. I loved my job as a bedside nurse and later when I became an RN, I never complained when assigned to total patient care. Not to sound sappy or make myself a saint, but nursing was always about the patients and not the prestige. However, when the flames of nursing hell took me down (aka burnout) I happily walked away from my profession and forgot lab values, lung sounds, ABG's and a whole lot of other critical knowledge.

14 comments:

Sling said...

Oh,you were being a naughty nurse indeed!...My favorite kind. ;)

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I know what you mean. When burn out comes, no amount of money is worth it. I went from doing graphic design work (what my BA is sorta) to being a secretary just to not have the stress. Then I quit that to become a full time mom. Now, I have loads of stress and no paycheck. LOL.

jan said...

You look so happy. What a shame that so many nurses who love their jobs burn out and leave the profession.

Mom said...

I too was a nurse for many years and loved it. For many years worked the OB/GYN floor in an inner city hospital in DC. It was never boring. When that got too hard I worked in a busy family practice office for many more years. One day it just quit being fun. Now I have achieved my career goal and I am a "kept woman." I love being retired and doing the things i never had time to do before.

Sandy said...

Easy to see why Steve fell in love with you - what a smile! How long before the burnout? Any insight as to how to keep nurses in nursing?

Michele said...

Aww... awesome picture. Your smile could light up a dark room anytime. That is amazing picture. If you were exhausted in this picture with that smile, you must be incredible after a good nights sleep!

Ex-Shammickite said...

My mother was a nurse and loved every minute, but it's a profession that never appealed to me, which I am sure disappointed my mum. There are lots of Drs and Nurses in my family.... but not me!

Lilli & Nevada said...

Isn't it fun to go back and look at the old days.
I would never make a nurse for sure as i get sick just looking at blood and needles. Not a profession i care to be in. But so glad that there are people that do.

Cazzie!!! said...

Yep, and you did the right thing there too. I wish alot of other nurses would realise when it is time to move on too, it would make life alot easier some of the time.
I love how you say the things you did were a sin, it makes me laugh, because I think we have all done these thins when on the graveyard shift, when tiredness sets in :)
Great image there of you and Ruth :)

Red7Eric said...

I love the fact that you're smiling so broadly because you were BEING BAD!!

Tee!

(Hey, nobody's perfect, but some of us know how to have fun regardless ... right?)

rosemary said...

Just a general answer: I went into nursing in 1970 and spent 28 years in the profession. I had a lot of different assignments in the same hospital on the same floor for 18 of those years. I was underpaid, worked more shifts than were allowed by labor laws, rarely had a holiday with my kids unless I gave up something like a holiday, and I was a nurse at a time when the docs ruled and we called them Doctor. Things have changed some. Docs are called by their first names, nurses have much more power now, but patient to nurse ratios are still bad and the pay is not going to make anyone rich. When I look at sports and movie figures and the $$$ they demand...well, something is horribly wrong with our society.

Jennie said...

I have to admire nurses. I don't think it would be for me. It takes a special person. I'd bet you were a good one.

Chandler said...

It is good to hear that it's a rewarding job in that light. I have been worried about it lately but to know that you could commit so many sins*, be on your graveyard shift and still be there to smile for the camera makes me feel better about it. :-) I hope I can enjoy it as much as you did.

gina said...

You are SO cute in that photo! I love seeing these old pics. And you are even more adorable nowadays. :)