Thursday, June 18, 2009

pulling the plug

Life on my unit has been relatively uneventful. Just the usual requests from constipated patients to just "reach up there and get that piece out" (ewwwww) and cute little old ladies with inguinal hernias that pop out at random times.

The other night, however, I was selected to take care of a patient who has decided to turn off his own LVAD and die naturally. He has been a favorite and a regular on our floor for the last four years, and many nurses were shedding tears over the news. I had not taken care of him much, so I was a good pick because I wasn't sobbing every time I passed by, but it was still very sad. I do enjoy palliative care patients, because I like to think that I had a hand in making their deaths more comfortable and dignifying. I would consider working for Hospice or a palliative care team at some point in my career.

As far as going to grad school, I always thought that I would get a year or two of nursing experience and then immediately go for it, but after just one year of nursing I realize that becoming an NP at this point would only limit me. There is so much out there for nurses, there's L&D, emergency medicine, geriatrics, ICUs... a lot to do and learn and experience. So for now, plans for grad school have been put in the "someday" bracket, to be revisited at a much later time.

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