Tell me your best nursing story! Or your favorite patient!

  • lulufaelulufae
    • Registered Nurse
    • CA
    # 11 months, 3 weeks ago

    Let’s hear some great nursing stories amid all this chaos!

    Mine is a little sad but truly beautiful.

    She was in her 90s. I was working on a gen surg/ICU step down/ trauma unit. She had had a major surgery (I honestly don’t even remember what- but definitely bowel related) which resulted in complications, multiple ORs, pigtails drain placements etc. No one ever thought she would make it.

    She was with us for nearly a year. She recovered from her surgeries and complications and went through extensive physio to get her strength back. She had been living independently prior to her hospitalization but it was determined she would need an assisted living facility to be discharged to. She remained on our unit while awaiting a room to open up for her.

    She had such a great personality. She was so sweet and kind and saucy all at the same time, my absolute favorite combo. She hated showers and often pretended to be sleeping when I would come around on shower day. During regular rounds to check on her, she often kicked me out of her room telling me that she was fine, “I know you’re busy. Go take care of the people who actually need you.”

    Her family was spectacular. A literal reflection of who she was as a person. They were dedicated, they visited every day, they respected the staff and often brought us coffee to show their thanks.

    When they found her placement, she got really anxious. She opened up to us about how she was worried the staff at the new facility wouldn’t be as kind, she wanted her home back, she didn’t want to go, we tried to reassure her as best as we could.

    The day of the “big move”, her family came briefly in the morning to tell her they were spending the day moving her furniture into her new place. They wouldn’t be there to visit. They would come back the following morning to collect her for discharge.

    On one of my rounds that morning I asked her if she needed anything and she told me “It’s been a good life”. She didn’t tell me to leave, instead, she told me about her life. How she had grown up, been a nurse during the war, married and built her family. The conversation felt so significant I sat and listened even with a million things on my to do list. When she was finished I was left with an understanding that a “good life” was simply a matter of perspective. Finding the good even through the rough times.

    I got a text from a co-worker later that evening. My favorite patient had passed away peacefully. I think about her often even after all these years. Not with sadness but with admiration and awe. She got me right in the feels. 😭

    KatyxoxoKatyxoxo
    • Newbie nurse
    • Tampa
    # 11 months, 3 weeks ago

    My first shifts off of orientation, I worked 3 nights in a row. I was terrified, of course, but I was given a good group of patients

    One patient stood out though. Was this older woman, I’d say in her late 80s, and her daughter who stayed with her the whole time she was in the hospital. I forget what she was admitted for exactly, but she was basically bedbound. Both the patient and daughter were so sweet. The daughter helped me with her mom with cleaning her and getting her on and off the bed pan. They told me funny stories about their families and life growing up. I didn’t reveal to them until the last hour of my 3rd shift that I had just graduated and she was one of my first patients.

    As I was finishing giving report, the daughter came up to me and handed me a card. She said “it’s all I have to offer, but you’ve made my Mom’s hospital stay go smoothly and you’ve helped us a lot. You’re a wonderful nurse and any patient is lucky to have you.” I thanked her and I opened the card when I got to my car. In it was a $10 gift card to the cafe downstairs in the hospital. I smiled the whole way home.

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