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Tuesday, May 8th 2012

God Bless Nurses

This week is National Nurses Week. I know I just wrote this a few weeks ago but I hope my commentary is never construed as a lack of respect for a profession that has far more to do with patients getting better than I do.

They are compassionate and front line in ways physicians can often never be. They deal with difficult patients and families in situations where my composure would never tolerate. And of course they provide the clinical aspect of care. When I was an intern, literally like two weeks into being a physician I was on call in the ICU and a patient went into SVT. I don’t remember the exact look of the EKG and he was stable otherwise, but for myself this was one of innumerous panic situations. I walked into the room and I literally think the conversation went like this.

Me: [Long silence starring intently at EKG and tele monitor]
Nurse: So?
Me: I’ll be honest I don’t remember what to give… [Fumbling for iPhone]
Nurse: Pretty sure first push is adenosine
Me: [Reading iPhone] Yep, sounds good to me

God bless nurses. I have the utmost respect for them. Healthcare doesn’t work without them.