There are some days that I leave work and think, "What a great day! This is why I love my job!!" That was exactly what I thought yesterday as my carpool buddy and I walked out of the hospital into the gorgeous weather...and I love days like that! Because they are not always that way! Some days I walk into the gorgeous weather and think, "Ugh, why was I cooped up in there all day!?"
I have been "following" (AKA consistently taking care of) this patient for the past several weeks now...he's the one I talked about walking around the unit in his wheelchair....he's the one I talked about pooping in my hand. So you see, after someone poops in your hand, you kinda have a bond with them. BUT- he doesn't talk!! At least to ANY of the nurses or doctors. He'll get on the phone all the time and talk away in his delayed Spanglish that I can barely understand....but he WILL NOT use words with any of us!!
Until yesterday! Apparently he was in a good mood. And apparently he now feels comfortable enough with me! Both are good things! But let me tell you when I joked around with him and he laughed at me and then proceeded to say "No, mine! Me game" I about fainted!! He had the biggest grin on his face as he was telling me he wanted to play the XBox and I was joking around with him that he broke it! The rest of the day when I asked questions, instead of pointing or using his made up sign language (which I've gotten REALLY good at deciphering now!) he actually used some words!
What a joy it is to see the patients that you spend so much time and energy on to get better actually getting better in more ways than just their physicality! And when phsyically their progress is really slow....REALLY slow sometimes....it's nice to see that I am making an impact in other ways! This little man will be with us....with me as his nurse....until at least August. And who knows how long after that! So I'm sure you'll be hearing much more about him.
Oh, and the other reason I loved my job yesterday was as I was leaving and saying goodbye to both my patients, the other patient's mom said "I just want to thank you so much for everything you have done for us this week. You really care a lot about my son. And in a time when I am too stressed and overwhelmed to do the little things for him, you did it without me having to even ask. So I appreciate that a lot!"
This is something that I don't hear often....weeks could go by without a thank you from patients or parents! But it's nice to know that some people do notice the little things that I do....that nurses do! Because even on the days that we walk out into the sunshine and think, "Ugh, why was I cooped up in there?" we had moments of nursing greatness, and ultimately these are the things to reflect on. These are the things that lead us to think "This is why I love my job!"