Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

I Should have called her the gardener…

Hey y’all,

I’ve been struggling with making progress on a few writing projects then something came up and the words came easy.

About a month ago, I’d previously posted about a nursing instructor that made an impact on me. More recently, on Instagram, a site called Vocal invited people to write about a woman that influenced them for Women’s History month.

I thought about that instructor and wrote a more detailed / refined essay. I shared a little more than I did in my prior post. Below is the address:

https://vocal.media/education/the-picky-nursing-instructor

*I think you might need to put this up in your address bar to avoid the nuisance of creating an account on Vocal Media to get in.

If your able to take a few minutes to read it, I’d be so grateful!

Please never mind the tip thing at the bottom!

 

 

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Make It Count

voices

I was going to stick with one of my usual themes and share last week’s fine moment of when a patient’s daughter came stomping into our area ranting that the surgeon had given her permission to observe in the OR (didn’t happen) and now we weren’t letting her in PACU.

A conversation with someone of whose opinion I hold dearly encouraged me rather to share my thoughts on a news event I’d been following.

Long before I was a nurse, I was a gymnast, and it’s because of that I followed the news accounts of the trial of Larry Nassar, MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor. Me, I had an idyllic experience in the sport.  Mr. Nassar has just been given a sentence of up to 175 years for child pornography and his sexual assault of over 150 girls in Michigan and Huntsville.

The other reason I’m posting is this: I have an appreciation for women who are standing up for each other, not tearing each other down. Rachael Denhollander, the first victim to speak out (August 2016 / the Indianapolis Star), worked with investigative reporters to give a voice to all abuse victims. Nassar, for years, had been preying on young girls obedient to the love for gymnastics. When injuries occurred, he assaulted them under the guise of what he described as ‘medical procedures’.

Before I go any further, let me be very clear, my coaches were an amazing husband/wife team, both Christian athletes, who put  their life savings up in order to create an atmosphere girls like myself could learn and grow as gymnasts. I always felt safe. They were mentors, not just sports mentors, but life mentors. They garnered the trust of my parents. Years later, I was honored when they allowed their young son to be my ring bearer.

‘Finding your voice’, it sounds so good on paper. You envision high school students embracing the arts, theatre, painting or more literal avenues like Debate in order to sculpt their character as they prepare to step out into the world. Don’t we say this all the time to the next generation? There’s a flip side — when using your voice brings on the loss of friends, your church, and your privacy, you weigh each word to ensure the cost is equitable to your motive.

Rachael Denhollander paid the price for speaking up, but still chose her impact statement in court to not be a self-righteous rant, but an opportunity to remind MSU and USAG how they ignored the attempts to expose the so called ‘world class doctor.’ Administrators said they “Didn’t know” because they “didn’t believe”, “reports weren’t handled correctly” and “…weren’t reported to the right person.” Enablers – she didn’t use the word, but you get the point. She outlined all the steps she’d taken to enlighten authority figures and their lackadaisical responses. She reminded everyone in the courtroom how individual girls were treated when they themselves filed their claims. With the help of investigators, she persisted for two years.

As an ex-gymnast, a nurse with general respect for practitioners, and a writer with growing understanding of the power of words, I was overwhelmed with admiration for the clarity and completeness of her statement.

Prosecutor Angela Povilaitis later commented. “[Nassar] is possibly the most prolific child abuser in history.”

Rachael Denhollander just brought him down.

She is not just a survivor; she is a powerful force as a human being.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/26/opinion/sunday/larry-nassar-rachael-denhollander.html

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/01/24/denhollander-seeks-maximum-sentence-nassar/1061719001/

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Matchmaking: This’ll make sense in the end.

So, after taking a certification exam for the second time and NOT passing, I quietly moped. My coworker respected my fragile state of self esteem by not bring it  up upon my return to work. It’s taken three weeks for me to shake the blah feeling off.

Earlier this week, passing the Director’s office ( a very warm person who always keeps her door open), I slowed and in a  deliberately exaggerated way, described the event and my feelings afterward. She stood and walked with me back toward my department. She did what all directors are trained to do, she  encouraged me to not give up, to try a different style of studying. At almost the same time, we both said “shadowing anesthesia”. Ketamine, Succinylcholine, Etomidate – yep, side effects of these meds are on the Nurse certification exam for CAPA.

It  made sense. Hang out with the OR people.

“Susan, I  think you should shadow Hank”

Hank, a sixty-five year old CRNA salt of the earth, nicest and I mean nicest guy, is a recent widow. Yeah, that’ll work, shadow a CRNA that has probably never grumbled at anyone.

Here is where things went wonky.

” You two should meet up for coffee or a casual dinner place and talk.”

What?

I redirected the conversation and  commented maybe on a slow day I could switch to education pay on the time clock as to minimize the cost of extra time at work. Her response was, ” No, I think you should meet outside of work.” That made no sense in regards to being in a learning environment.

We were now at the entrance to my department.  The last thing she said was ” It’d be a shame if you didn’t follow up on that idea.”

I did a great job hiding how uncomfortable I was with the undertone of her suggestion. Widow. Age difference. Coworker. Not playing where you work. Being pretty sure Hank did not appreciate R&B music…

She’s not the first at work  to have an interest in determining the course of my love life.

I just want to do my job.

 

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