How dirty do patients get? Are nurses constantly cleaning up after patients?
Remember that time you were really, really sick? I don’t mean the mono episode in college or when you had that terrible bronchitis/flu combo during that snowstorm.
I mean that time you were convinced you had expelled your entire digestive tract through one end or the other. Was it something you ate? Drank? Those kids you babysat? Whatever the source, you were sick as a dog, sitting on the toilet, spewing into the bathtub. You threw out your underwear, and when you finally had the strength to wash your hair, it was horrendous.
Now, you were fortunate because you could take care of your own self. Imagine you couldn’t. Maybe you’re too weak, maybe you have arthritis or are partially paralyzed because of an accident or a massive stroke.
And you’re in the hospital, one sick puppy. You’re massively embarrassed. You can’t control your bodily fluids. But your nurse, bless his heart, is professional. He’s patient. He cleans you up and every time he does it, you want to crawl into a hole and die. Not because of how he makes you feel, though. He distracts you, talks about the weather, asks about your kids. He gets to know you as a person. Sometimes he has help from the techs but sometimes he doesn’t. But each time you know that you’re his priority.
If you can’t seriously see yourself being that nurse, because you can’t see yourself or someone you love being that patient, then maybe you shouldn’t see yourself being a nurse at all.
There are a few people in my nursing class that need to read this.