Happy Nurses Week everyone! To celebrate, we ran a contest called the Mightiest Nurse Contest and asked you to submit your stories about something you did on or off the job that made you a mighty nurse. Each day for the rest of the week, we’ll publish a couple stories exactly as they were submitted leading up to our grand prize winner which will be announced on Friday.
All the stories were great…so great, in fact, that we didn’t realize how hard this was going to be to select just one winner. We almost have to apologize for not being able to pick everyone. Nurses truly are mighty!
Today’s theme is “Care With Conviction,” featuring stories of nurses that believed in themselves to deliver the care that was necessary despite what anyone else said.
“RN” by Miranda Jones
It was just your average day on the CCU Stepdown and at about 1500, the 8th hour of my 12 hour day, my 61 year old patient who was being prepped for a colonoscopy started actively GI bleeding. My Nursing Assistant and I were emptying buckets of blood from him. Then he started to vasovagal and pass out like every 10 minutes. I was calling his Doctors and they didn’t concerned at first, just had me pooring fluids into him since his H&H wasn’t too low. Finally after his 3rd episode of passing out I was angry that the Doc’s were not coming to do something. I called the House Doctor and told him to “Get here now!!” Once he saw the man he ordered a blood transfusion Stat and a transfer to ICU. In the mean time his wife was in the hall crying hysterically, and I grabbed her shoulders and told her “I wont let anything happen to your husband.” After stabilizing him and pouring blood into his system we finally got him to ICU around 9 pm.. 2 hours of OT. I went and saw him in ICU, after his emergency surgey, the next day and he and his wife were so thankful for all my dedication and hardwork and for stepping up and getting him to ICU. A month later they came back to visit me on my floor and brought cookies and a card and thanked me again. I told him it was no problem and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. They laughed, silently thinking that I was probably nuts.
“New Year’s Miracle” by Melanie Companioni
New Year’s Eve night in an 83 bed Emergency Department. I started my shift at 7pm, nobody wants to work New Years but as we all know nursing is 24/7, 365. I thought the night would be a typical ER night with just a few more drunks, maybe a few more traumas than usual. At around 2300 we a received a 36y/o pt from Fire Rescue that had seizure-like activity while at church. The patient’s family had a pretty high level of anxiety and the patient herself appeared to be hyperventilating. The ER doc at that time chalked it up to an anxiety attack and order a few routine tests then left the room to move on to another patient. Upon my assesment my gut told me this wasn’t an anxiety attack. The patient was only saying one word, “water”, in response to every question asked. She was moving all extremeties but not with purpose and the patient was vomiting as well. My gut said, “this patient has a brain bleed.” I presented the case to the doc one more time and was met with resistance. I pushed and pushed for a brain CT until the doctor finally relented, and said, “fine if you want it order it.” Within 5 minutes we were on the way to CT, I pushed the patient to CT myself. The instant the scan was complete it was grossly apparent the patient was bleeding in her brain. We rushed the patient back to the room. She was successfully intubated at exactly midnight. The neurosurgeon was in the room and transporting the patient to the OR by 1230am. I followed the patient’s case for a few more weeks. She survived, and last I checked she was on her way home with home health and physical therapy. That day I truly felt like a Mighty Nurse. I advocated for my patient even after the doctor resisted and my persistance saved this woman’s life. As nurses we should never ever forget we are our patient’s advocates, and if they cant fight for themselves, who will?
“Save that baby” by Diane Anderson:
I got a phone call from a friend who lived 100 miles away. She said she was concerned about her newborn son. He was just one week old. He was having muscle spasms. She told me that she had called her pediatricians office and told them of her concern, but they said it was normal and not to worry. Although jerking motions are normal for a newborn, I questioned her further. Q: When her jerks, and you hold him down, does the jerking stop? A: No. Q: How long does the jerking last? A: Sometimes up to 5 minutes. Q: Does he change color? A: Yes, a very dark red. I knew he was having seizures. I told her to call her doctor back again, tell them everything we had just discussed, and to get him to the hospital ASAP. She did that, and she was immediately connected to a neonatologist. He told her to get him to the hospital without delay. She went directly to the ER at Texas Childrens Hospital. He was taken from her as soon as they walked in the door. He was unable to metabolize calcium, and was so critical that she was told he wouldn’t have survived another 10 minutes. She told me he would have died if she had listened to her pediatricians office, and that I had saved her son’s life.