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Hi.

I thought I'd write about being a nurse. Sometimes I still find it difficult to believe that I do this for a living. I think it is among the greatest privileges in life to do this and and take care of other people. I am given entrance to people's lives and minds and I am very thankful for that. I can feel, at the end of the day, that my work has importance and that I have probably done something during the day that has made someone feel better.

On the other hand, it has such difficult times that I sometimes find it difficult to believe that I choose to do this for a living.

So - about the page. It turns out that I have quite a bit to say. And I carry on saying it. So, if you're interested in it, please come back from time to time and see what new stuff I've added.

Read this first. Information about stroke, heart attack.

Nursing isn't my first career. Nor even my second. Before I went to nursing school I was a computer lady. Okay that wasn't my title. I was Information Systems Manager, but mostly was known as the computer lady. I'm not one of those people who always wanted to be a nurse. As a matter of fact, I would have been a doctor for about 20 years now, if a certain person had stood up to his end of a bargain. Actually, I was studying pre-medicine when I discovered that I was more interested in people than in disease.

I knew I needed a job where I could get up and run around and talk to people. I've always been interested in science and in medicine, and so this seemed like the logical step to take.

I'm not sure that I'd advise people now to go into nursing. I know that I wouldn't advise against it, but I don't think that I'd urge someone of whom I was fond to try it. It's a very expensive field of study. For some reason, nursing classes cost as much as graduate school classes. For another thing, the responsibility is truly staggering, and the financial rewards are staggeringly small.

Life vs. Death Click here.

That being said, of course, someone who wants to be a nurse, often needs to be a nurse and feels a real calling. I couldn't and wouldn't say a word to discourage that person! New nurses vs experienced nurses.

. Here's another interesting thing about nursing. It's something that you become and that becomes you. I know nurses who are retired, but I don't know any Former nurses. There's a distinction there. You are shaped by the experiences you have, and the experiences in nursing are so intense that you are changed by them.

I work in the neurosurgery/neurosciences department of a big hospital. It's a very interesting place to work. The biggest drawback of working in this area is that I am no longer able to say to my co-workers "Don't take it so seriously. This isn't brain surgery here."

Why are nurses considered so sexy? Click here.

I think we need some more flowers here. I love flowers. Especially roses and peonies. Aren't they nice?

Here are some of the code words and acronyms nurses use.

Nurses used to be known as doctors' handmaidens. I don't know if that image was ever true. Today, I think that doctors (most doctors -- the smart ones, anyway) recognize nurses for the professionals that they are. The attending doctor, the one who is officially responsible for a patient in hospital may see the patient for two minutes a day. The residents might see the patient that long or maybe a minute or so more. Nurses are there enough to see minor changes and trends.

Nursing is all about people. Doctors learn about diseases and about the organisms that cause them. They learn about medicines and how they work. We have to learn a little bit about diseses and medicines. But what nurses learn about is how the disease affects the person and the person's life and the person's family.

Patients and families from the nurse's perspective. Click here.

This is where I complain about patients and/or families that I Hated to go near!

I'm going to refer to nurses here as "she." Not that all nurses are females, but the large majority of them are. Not all doctors are males, either. I'd say the proportion of male nurses is much smaller than the proportion of female doctors.

This is an angel pink peony.

In my hospital, different floors have different staffing ratios. On my floor, until just recently, we have been allowed to have four nurses on the floor. We also have a charge nurse who is mainly management and doesn't take care of patients. The nurses on the floor each get six patients. Six patients is actually too many. In my hospital, I don't know of any floors where the nurses have more patients, but I know they do in other hospitals!!

Six patients maybe doesn't sound like a lot? Read this for a real-life description! I ESPECIALLY hope you read this,

There are a varying number of patient care technicians, techs or sometimes CNT's. Techs used to be called nurses' aides. The techs take care of a lot of the basic care of the patient. Techs take vital signs, give baths, change bed linen, change some dressings, give patients drinks and snacks, help set up meal trays and take the trays away after meals, having noted how much the patient ate. They help patients to the bathroom or put them on the bedpan. A good tech does a LOT.

So what, you ask, is left for the registered nurse to do? Whew... Where to start. . .

Here's some of it!

More peonies.

This page is obviously under construction. I've put a guest book here. Leave me a message if you have any comments or questions! I'd love some feedback (yeah, I already know it's too big - I'm working on it!!)

I'll keep working on this (until I lose interest, I suppose).



Love

-Dennie

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