Monday, June 18, 2012

Keep Your Head Up, Keep Your Love

keep your head up. keep your love.
|The Lumineers|

Yesterday was a pretty great day at work. Though this might seem odd to some people, work is my reprieve in a lot of ways. It's a safe place for me. A place where people know me for my smile, my optimism, my humor, my excitement, and my wackiness. It's a place where I can joke and be passionate, all at the same time. While it's in a different manner than when I was working with my kiddos, it's still a place where I can be parts of myself that I haven't been able to be anywhere else for quite some time.

One of the most treasured aspects of my job is getting the chance to relate to my patients and to be their caregiver and advocate during some of their most vulnerable times. Even when I was working with prisoners, when one is sick one is in a very vulnerable position that brings out the best and worst in people. It's a time when we are seen stripped to the bone, quite literally (and figuratively), and the true meat of humanity can come out.

I enjoy taking care of others, so immensely. It's just built into how I am wired. And none more so than the most vulnerable. Those with special needs. A protective and caring nature comes over me.

Most especially, those with cerebral palsy. A huge contributor to that was my little Ethan. But more so, I came to really understand those with cerebral palsy and came to understand the brilliant, normal people behind the spasticity.

Yesterday at work, we had a patient there who had cerebral palsy. He's been there for a couple of weeks now apparently, but since I haven't worked the floor I haven't even known he was there. When I walked in to help my fellow HCT, I found out very quickly he had CP and automatically all my natural instincts kicked in. I found myself automatically protective and advocating for the best of care for him, helping Diane to get him cleaned up and into the chair, then encouraging him to come out in the hall and spend some time with us nurses (it was a slower day so it was possible to spend some time talking with him)! However, I soon came to understand just how much my heart gets wrapped up in my patients rather quickly. Case in point: when asking the charge nurse whether he could sit by the nurses station with us (which is encouraged in our nursing program), our charge replied with a short and curtly answer, of which I automatically walked off because I know the propensity of my mouth to not have a filter when opened.

I realized that I had to ask Diane to check me if I got out of line, as I realized that my heart was already too much involved with this one patient.

However, it got me to thinking: this is what is going to make me a great nurse. The ability to relate to, connect with, and then become an advocate for my patients. That's what nurses are right?! Not just caregivers but advocates for the best of care.

I realized my heart is already poured into my job, but I realized that's not a bad thing, it just means I'm going to have to find avenues and ways of making sure I maintain professionalism and my sanity when the going gets tough.

So keep your head up, gal!

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