Saturday, July 16, 2011

from the "poignantly sad moments in nursing" files

I arrive to work and one of my two assigned patients is already in a body bag. We spend the morning taking care of the living one and waiting for Transport to take the dead one to the morgue and for Housekeeping to clean the room. I look in and notice an "About Me" poster on the bulletin board. I make a mental note to make sure it's gone before the next patient arrives. (Housekeeping sometimes forgets about the bulletin board, and having cards and things from a prior patient in the room is, obviously, not ideal.)

Sometime in the late afternoon (this transport and cleaning business takes forever), the new patient arrives. We do all the new patient things--vital signs, EKG, swabs in various orifices for various cultures, etc. I open the garbage can to throw away the used blood glucose finger stick supplies. At the bottom lies the "About Me" poster. "My name is John," it says. "My pet is Lucy--Chow-Chow mix. I like astronomy, running, and classical music."




Meg said...

The only thing that scares me more is the possibility of getting used to it.

Gina said...

Yep. I almost cried into the trash can. It is indeed scary that that reaction could very well change.