Weekend Wrap Up … Show no fear
Or – ‘Utilizing all that I know’ …
What to do when you’re surrounded by female, young (yeah – that means the skinny kind!), inexperienced coworkers and you’re staring into the face of a psych patient (I mean the real one – with crazy eyes) who is angry and intoxicated to boot … 20 years of nursing, 18 years of child rearing and 10 years of loving, rescuing and breeding a giant, alpha breed of dog run through your mind in the seconds you take to play out the potential scenarios in your head: “Shoot – he may be short, but he’s got muscle, and he’s pretty ticked off … we could really get hurt here!” was my internal alarm screaming at me … What showed on my face? My sternest ‘mother look’ when the patient made eye contact … “Show NO FEAR,” my inner-self yelled! Yeah, OK! Protect the young, pregnant and inexperienced … so I found myself stepping into the direct line of fire … “Dog-gone this is stupid Kris – you’re gonna get hurt!” – my less-courageous inner voice starts whining. “But – they’ve called the police – just need to hang in ‘til they get here,” I think as I make physical contact with the patient with the crazy eyes, talking to him about cleaning him up, washing his bloody hands from where he ripped his IV out … “There now – this is better,” I say, when I see the three 6 foot tall officers … all is good now!
And off I go to deal with the next emergency –“flu symptoms x 3 hours” … So went my weekend. Like so many other weekends. You take the chief complaint, utilize all of your assessment skills and try your best to read between the lines to find out what it is this patient wants or needs? Narcotics, attention, a magic wand, a work-note, a warm blanket, TV (really?!?), a hidden agenda … etc. This is my job. Sometimes I can nail it pretty quickly, other times it’s trial and error, and then there’s “The Momma’s Boy”. I know what they want, but … Arrggh! Really? You’re a 35 year old man. You have a COLD! You are NOT dying. You brought your own pillow to the ER, for crying out loud. I will not be your surrogate mother, cooing and stroking your brow while I commend you for being so strong and courageous! Nope, can’t do it … Give me crazy eyes anytime!