Tuesday, 7 October 2014

How deep is the deep end?

I have just found out that my little G.E. turned up to a night-shift as a student paediatric nurse last week, and was given the solo job of looking after a three year-old boy whose entire family had been killed in a car-crash. He was the only survivor.

Apparently, he spent most of the night asking for his Mummy.

It only seems like yesterday since I was holding her three year-old hand as we crossed the road as safely as possible, and I remember the feeling of almost stifling responsibility.

23 comments:

  1. I can't bear that, Tom. How utterly tragic.

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    1. It has somewhat spoilt my evening too.

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  2. God, how awful. Paediatric nursing is very hard. I couldn't do it.

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    1. All nursing is hard on the patients...in my experience children deal with hospitalization so much better than most adults.......
      The people that always are overlooked are the elderly
      Hospital and life is a difficult path to walk when you are old

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    2. Yes, I think you are right, John. If anyone had to decide who would survive better than the other, given the 'choice' between a toddler and its mother, it would be a bloody hard call. Children are survivors by sheer programming, but who knows how they would turn out if not faced with these sort of circumstances?

      The old Gospel thing about 'God never deals anything out that you cannot handle', has a lot of truth I think.

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  3. How on earth did G.I manage ? That must have been the biggest test for her. I have the greatest admiration for her and her contemporaries { and my heart goes out to the little boy of course } XXXX

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    1. Sorry …. that's G.E !!!! XXXX

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    2. I haven't spoken to her about it, just her mother so far. I'll ask, but what do you ask?

      If you cannot cope with this sort of thing, then you cannot do your job properly.

      As far as I can tell, nursing is a fine balance between empathy and efficiency - too much of one and you have a wreck who just needs to get out of the way, and too much of the other casts the nurse in the light of an unfeeling and uncaring person who should not be in the job in the first place.

      I also think I could not do it, but if that is what you are faced with, then I am sure most people would rise to the requirements. I think I could if I had to, but I would never choose to.

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    3. I don't belive in empathy
      Lives are so very different

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    4. I am spending a bit of time at a hospice right now (work related), and I find it comforting that I can wave and smile at people who - we both know - will not be alive in a matter of days.

      My friend, the chef who works there, brings his old books and DVDs up for them, and they are all used within a matter of hours.

      I said he must have to choose the subject matter quite carefully, and he said that all he reads and watches is Gothic Horror. They love all that stuff, apparently.

      He also supplies them with cigarettes - they are not allowed them as even a dying wish.

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    5. That is utter bollocks, John.

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    6. I mean, are you not simply human?

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  4. No I am serious
    Nursing advocates empathy
    I advocate balanced sympathy
    It's very different

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    1. Let me think about this - you need not to wince and identify as you witness the pain, but you need to understand what the pain is doing to your patient.

      So a sense of detachment is essential to do your job properly, but it has to be the right degree of detachment - not so detached as you seem remote.

      I think that is more or less what I meant - that nursing humanely is a bloody difficult job.

      No wonder you love to watch bitch-slapping in your time off.

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  5. Anyway, I'm off to night-nights... NURSE!

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  6. Oh I sooooowNt you to come to our wedding party on the 20th june

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    1. I hope I can make it - we'll talk next year! (Did you mean 'waNt', or 'Not wAnt'?...)

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  7. I'm sure your G.E. comforted the little fellow as well as looked after his well being. I just visualized her as a young woman EMT when I worked at the fire district. We got a letter from a mother, thanking us for the care given her daughter, transported following an accident at a school outing. The mother asked her child if she was scared and the little girl replied no, the "nice lady" said she would take care of me and stay with me.
    That EMT has gone on to become a nurse.
    Well, I hasn't contributed much to the conversation, except to conclude nursing is a hard occupation, in my opinion, and I was pleased a mother commended our EMT's sympathy for her daughter. Sad the little fellow's parents will not be doing the same.

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  8. Who has the dreadful task of informing the poor boy about his family? I hope your G E will be spared that. I have huge admiration for the nursing profession.

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    1. I guess that will be a process over a period of time, hopefully carried out by some competent child-psychologist.

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  9. I'd say G.E. is in the deep end all right, and it's heartbreaking situations like this that will let her know if she wants to stick with it.

    A friend of mine who's an OR nurse (OR=operating room, although you call it the operating theatre across the Pond i believe)--anyhow this nurse friend of mine likes to knit. She said it's nice to take part in an activity where if she makes a mistake, all she has to do is rip it out and start over--no loss of life.

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