Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The 35 year old in the PICU

Every once and awhile, we'll get an adult in our PICU that had heart surgery as a baby, and now our surgeons are the only ones that know how to repair what they did 30 some years ago. So these adults come back to the PICU.

Yesterday I was the lucky winner of taking care of one such adult. Only she wasn't there for another heart surgery....she was there with pneumonia.

Now what in the world is an adult with pneumonia doing in our PICU!?!? Such is the way we roll sometimes apparently! In all fairness, she does have a complicated heart history & that's what brought her to us as opposed to her local hospital.

Taking care of an adult is NOT like taking care of kids!! Stated in another way: Kids are not little adults!!

I had a few laughs yesterday because sometimes our vocabulary goes on autopilot. But that needs to be changed when an adult is in that PICU bed!

Saying "Do you have to go potty??" is not so appropriate for an adult!

Or "does your tummy hurt?"

Or "Can you show me where your owie is?" (owie DB, not ooie!)

And things like automatically cutting up their food when it arrives isn't so much appreciated!!

But just like kids, she started getting cranky and whiney in the I implemented mandatory naptime. I turned off all the lights, turned off tv....made a nice quiet, dark environment for her to take her nap.

Even though she's not a kid, sometimes adults need others....PICU take charge! And so I did!

But unlike some of the kids I take care of, I refrained from telling her "You can't get back up until you put your happy face back on!"...unfortunately, I think the words "Tell me if you have to go potty so I can help you" may have come out : )

What can I say....I'm a PICU nurse through and through!!

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