Monday, June 13, 2011

a letter to a friend

because sometimes it's easier to write to a person than to the black hole that is the Internet

In other news, I am seven shifts into my job in the ICU. Things are going really well, which is more a relief than anything because I was so scared going into it. I'm learning a ton and am starting to feel somewhat competent! Also hospital nurses are a pretty hilarious, salty bunch. Especially the older ones. The weird part though is that in school I'd always joke that my main goal was just to not kill anyone, but in there I almost wish I could. For the last two days my patient was a homeless man being kept alive on a ventilator and various meds that kept his blood flowing, and he was absolutely going to die, but we couldn't withdraw any care because he didn't have anyone to speak for him. By the end of my shift yesterday my preceptor and I were just kind of fed up, and when hospital staff would come by to inquire (he was obviously in horrendous shape), she'd say, "Oh, you know, we're just letting him slowly suffocate." Which is exactly what we were doing. And what we legally had to do. If I saw a freaking cockroach going through such suffering I'd feel like a bad person for not putting it out of its misery. The man was unconscious but you just don't know what's going on in there... So yeah, I'm thinking I'll go into primary care. Your Friendly Neighborhood Nurse Practitioner! With healthy snacks in the waiting room! (That last part is probably illegal.)

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