It’s over. A run of 10 shifts in 11 days has finally come to an end. We often forget the sacrifices we make when so much effort goes into work. In the end, if we work hard enough, we get our reward.
I often hear myself preaching to anyone who will listen why it is never a good idea to work too much. A healthy work-life balance is important for wellness of mind and body. Too much stress leads to mistakes and illness. I don’t have time for that. When I willingly force myself to put work into overdrive, certain things get sacrificed; the family, the diet, the blog…the dog.
I miss my kids. Pooky has been sick for the past week and Little Bear is also coming down with a cold. On my one day off I made sure Pooky felt the love and she received a mani-pedi in addition to extra TLC. Even with the extra attention, she would politely excuse herself, return to her bed, and rest. Two and a half years old. Precious.
Back at work I had my hands full with an onslaught of patients, problems and students. The students have been excellent so far this semester. The MCC students bailed me out today, their preceptor supervising them as they passed the majority of my meds while I orchestrated a discharge, an admission, multiple exams and assessments. If we work hard enough we get our reward.
One of my patients with a bad diagnosis and a worse prognosis finally broke down into tears shortly after her husband left for the evening. I was in the process of hanging an antibiotic, stopped, closed the door, handed her some tissues and sat down at her bedside. For the next 20 minutes I listened. There were no interruptions. Just me listening, hoping frayed emotions would begin to mend for my patient in need of emotional availability.
It the beginning of my nursing career, it was difficult to listen. Often, I wanted to fix things with my words and quickly realized I was saying words that were only ever meant to sooth myself. If we listen carefully enough patients will tell us exactly what they need, but the majority of the time, being heard is enough. As strange as this may sound, this was my reward; a patient feeling comfortable enough with me to be completely open and vulnerable.
Before I left for the evening, she thanked me. She didn’t need to.