Monday, August 17, 2009

Informed Consent

So much of the healthcare world revolves around informed consent. Hospitals consider informed consent part of their best customer service, but essentially IC is a right. Patient and their families always need to be informed. But what about their health care providers? There was so much that nursing school didn't inform me about being a nurse. Sure nursing school taught me about anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and ethics, but there's a lot that was never brought to my attention...

That patient's will test your patience.

That being able to identify a specific bateria by it's smell isn't a skil that makes you more attractive to the opposite sex.

That just because I'm comfortable talking about bodily functions, doesn't mean that it's appropraite dinner conversation

That Id both feel and hear ribs crack when I performed CPR but have to keep going

That I'd be so tired after a thirteen hour shift the thought of walking home five blocks makes me want to cry contemplate taking a cab

That my feet and ankles would swell so much flip flops are the only comfortable shoes to wear after work

That I'd have spider veins by the time I was 25

That I'd be verbally abused my patients and their families

That I wouldn't sleep more than 3 hours inbetween my 12+ hour night shifts

That Uncle Sam would take almost half my paycheck

That money in the bank is no good when you don't have the time to enjoy it.

That I'd only get to spend one holiday with my family over a two year period

That I'd be exposed to lethal infections on a daily basis

That prophylactic antiretrolvirals following a needlestick injury would keep me in the bathroom for the better part of a month.

That doctors and nurses don't have sex in the suppy room. They have it in the on call room (kidding)

That I'd have to fight with the doctors when advocating for my patients

Looking back, if they had shoved a paper in my face and told me everything that being a nurse entails, I think I would have paused, thought about and signed anyways. Becuase even though nursing school didn't teach me any of they above, they also din't teach me...

How amzing it is to deliver a baby on the side of the FDR highway while doing a shift with the paramedics.

How gratifying it is when a patient says "Thank you for being you."

How satisfying it is to successfully run a code

How phenomenal it is to see some one survive after being burned on 90% of their body

How special it feels to be the first one a patient sees when they wake up from a coma

How nice it feels when a doctor says they are happy to have you caring for their patient

How awe inspiring it is to see a person walk on two prosthetic legs for the first time

How fulfilling it is to come home, exhausted after your shift, and know that you made a difference

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