About Me

undergrad RN
I'm a twenty-something Canadian student. After stumbling through a few years of college, I finally managed to get into the nursing school of my dreams, where I hope to graduate in 2012 with a nursing baccalaureate degree. I want to offer an honest look into how a modern nurse is educated, both good and bad. Eventually I hope to compare my education to my day-to-day career and see how it holds up. Whatever happens, it should be somewhat entertaining. Find me on allnurses.com!
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Saturday, July 30, 2011

It's 0430, do you know where your soldier is?

My first-ever witnessed case of military PTSD tonight. Query attempted suicide on benzos and ETOH. All I can think of is he had no other means to numb the chaos in his mind.

I don't necessarily believe in what the military *does*, but I do support the men and women who stand up for their country in one of the most honorable ways possible and the sacrifice they make in that choice.

But I think the sacrifice goes far beyond a tour of duty and service on the front line. I think that the military completely fails its troops once it's time to re-enter civilian life. In absence of psychological intervention, soldiers turn to any variety of things to numb their thoughts and dreams, and too many of them end up dead.

Thanks for serving your country, here is a sense of manly bravado, zero coping skills and tons of bad shit to deal with. Bye bye now!

Seriously, so sad. I just want to go all "The Cell" on him and hop inside his mind and bring some peace there.

-- from the cellular desk of undergrad RN
Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Got angry at/for a patient...

And I'm still troubled by it.

A young woman was brought in by police a self-inflicted laceration. At first it just seemed like your run-of-the-mill angsty teen cutting.

So I brought her in, pulled up a chair, and said..... "start from the beginning".

And she talked, and I listened, and she cried, and I held her hand.

Turns out this young mom, just a few weeks postpartum, was beat up by her husband. Lumps and bruises all over her. We had an inservice last term from a nurse who works in a women's shelter who talked about the dangers of strangulation in family violence; she had a big hand-sized bruise across her throat.

"But don't write any of that down," she said. "My hormones got the better of me. I was asking for it."

I told her about her resources and her options, but she didn't want to hear it. She didn't want to acknowledge that her husband laid his hands on her, hurt her, scared her. Hurt her so much that she told me "if he hurt me, why shouldn't I hurt myself?" and she cut herself to cope.

I know family violence happens. I know that women statistically have to ask for help 7 times before they commit to a change... but part of me just wanted to shake her and say "you can do better than him! He CAN'T do that to you!"

I know all that but I still wanted to go and knock him out. I was really upset and talked about it with my fellow students and nurses, but man. I'm really bothered by this one.

At the end of it, I told her that if she EVER felt like she had nowhere safe to go, she could come to our ER and we'd take care of her. She burst into tears. What more could I say?

You need to know that rescue is possible, that freedom is possible, that God is still in the business of redemption.  We're seeing it happen.  We're seeing lives change as people get the help they need.  People sitting across from a counselor for the first time.  People stepping into treatment.  In desperate moments, people calling a suicide hotline.  We know that the first step to recovery is the hardest to take.  We want to say here that it's worth it, that your life is worth fighting for, that it's possible to change.  - To Write Love On Her Arms