Friday, September 29, 2023
The demands of our job, the knowledge we must acquire drive us to achieve something known as "Critical Thinking". This is defined as the mental process of active and skillful perception, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of collected information through observation, experience and communication that leads to a decision for action. One does not graduate from Nursing school with this tool fully formed; experience in the workplace, further knowledge obtained and a solid degree of personal confidence will move the new nurse towards that goal.
But what of critical Feeling skills? That is another thing altogether. I know that I do not have the words to lay out the recommended steps required to become an empathetic caring individual but I will say that when the tears started falling, the sobs and wails cried out, I headed for the door and called upon someone else to handle that.
Now consider that the first telephonic spoken word was transmitted electrically in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell. Certainly, the engineering was complex but millions of people were not believers. Some would say that now in 2023 our understanding of the universe is “light-years” ahead of 1876, but that was only 150 years ago. Quantum science has demonstrated that two elemental particles can and do communicate with each other across vast regions of space, so why is it so difficult to accept the possibility that there is a spirit realm? I propose that is because science has not yet developed instruments to measure these kinds of things and as such, I will keep an open mind about it all.
Nurses and Doctors are right to keep some of their observations “unknown” in respect to things of a paranormal nature. We don’t want to be labeled as quacks or fools; however, over the past four decades of my career hundreds of patients, family members, elder relatives and friends have admitted their belief of a spirit world. In fact, most modern religions are steeped in spiritualistic unprovable phenomena. When we interview our patients & families, we are advised to keep an open mind and not to judge. Let us all agree that is a good idea and open our own minds to vast possibilities that are not yet measurable.
For the record, I witnessed a person (DNR status) come back to life after thirty minutes while being flat-line, pulseless, not breathing and declared dead by an MD. This was in an ICU in a regional medical center in southern California. That man was later discharged home in an improved state. I suspect he had some help getting back his heartbeat. Incidentally, he suffered no neurological deficit. I felt rooms become icy cold for no apparent reason and sometimes associated with the death of a patient. And also at times, where the patient expressed there were demons terrorizing them
"If only we could see the angels taking her away"
I can't say that I knew her
If only we could see the angels
Saturday, April 22, 2023
In the Charlie Brown Cartoon stories there is a character named Pig Pen who seems to leave a wake of dust and mess behind him wherever he goes. Let's just say that I was not a total neat-freak (like some dayshift nurses that followed me) because my main focus was getting my patient's through the night alive. The next morning an occasional muttering was heard as that day nurse fussed around the patients room making it look pretty, to their standards.
My best pal Nurse was the type that needed about 5 feet of desktop space to spread out papers, files and charts (before the EMR) leaving very little space for even one more nurse to chart. It was a bit of a joke between us and did not cause discord. Besides, she was a veritable encyclopedia of Cardiology and a great teacher as well. Anyways, a great team of nurses we were and that is the key to success wherever you work.
I have a 1st Debris Belt in Messiness
But Lana, she's got me beat,
Just trying to start an IV
There are throw-away wrappers
Covering her feet.
I have a 2nd Debris belt in Organization
I couldn't follow a list if you paid me,
That's why it's not a good idea
To try to coerce or persuade me.
Then there's my 3rd Debris belt in Entanglement
I can conjure a knot in any shoelace or cord,
Why untie, when I can more easily break it
I'm one of those employees you can not afford.
Monday, April 17, 2023
I posted this in 1997, when this Underside was a self-published endeavor. Here I am 26 years later, no longer working at the bedside but still performing some education duties. Look, Nursing isn't easy (not then and not now) but it is extremely fulfilling helping others in their time of need.