Patients who touch the soul

My patient today had a HR of 42, asymptomatic. The first thing he said when I triaged him, “you’re not going to make me go to the hospital, are you? They treat me like I don’t exist. I’d rather go back to the streets.” He looked so fearful, and for a few moments I was lost for words. He’s a veteran, which is not unusual in this unit. He spoke about the terrifying events he witnessed in Afghanistan, lives of his fellow soldiers sacrificed, large healed scars running up his right arm as a brutal reminder of the catastrophic attacks he survived - and now he was both homeless and frightened of our hospital system. I said simply, “You are safe here. We will care for you.”

He spoke about the sons and daughters he couldn’t face, the birthdays and Christmases he would never see, and the survivor’s guilt he felt today, on Memorial Day, surviving while so many others in Afghanistan lost their lives. As I listened, for a brief moment in time I was transported into his world of grief. His was a perspective I hadn’t considered. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I vaguely wondered why people say “happy Memorial Day.” I honestly do not understand much of war, but this statement confounds me a bit, and I wonder what Veterans think when they hear it. This unit specializes in crisis intervention, and we receive a great deal of people from all walks of life, devastated by loss of home, or any basic human rights. I’m relieved there are medical/nursing nonprofit organizations like this who see the human beyond the exterior, and won’t turn their backs on them.

He may not remember my name, or those of any of his caregivers, and that’s ok; I hope he remembers simply that we respected him. I will remember him, far beyond today. Some patients just have that impact. Today is the first day in a long time I am struck by the beauty of simplicity in nursing, and why I choose it over and over again.

Telepresence robots let bedridden art lovers explore museums remotely

While most museums make a big effort to make their spaces accessible to as many people as possible, countless citizens are still unable to visit because of poor health or disabilities. Now, a roaming video device called Beam — developed by Suitable Technologies — could enable people to explore the exhibits in museums and galleries remotely. READ MORE…

What if, a few times a week, massive open online courses, or MOOCs, were streamed on the prison’s internal station, channel 3? Companies like Coursera already record university lectures — in subjects like psychology, sociology, existentialism, economics and political science — and stream them online for free. The MOOCs, which are free for the rest of the world, could help American prisoners become more educated and connected.

Welcome sign at the Pediatric Clinic. Access, and a safe zone for runaway/homeless youth, part of the overall development center for them to feel supported and realize their worth & potential. LGBT welcomed. Completely different exposure to any prior nursing - perhaps because there’s no financial profit involved. (Which understandably hospitals need to survive). Here, there aren’t competitive disciplines vying for the referrals or attention/care of a patient, or surgeries to make ends meet, no VIP’s to tap dance around. The supporters and donors are very understanding of the sensitive nature of this population.

There’s something fascinating about entering an entirely new line of work where your knowledge is so very limited; from an educational perspective, I’m intrigued - learning, learning, learning. Change is good though, right?

What really captured me was the introduction by the medical director, who spoke about the mission being a holistic approach to helping the kids. “They don’t know yet that they have choices, they don’t know yet that they have opportunities. You all (orientation group) have the chance to make a difference in their young lives.”

Here they created a role for me, I’m the nurse manager, a nurse educator for rotating nursing/med students and will be a provider of regular seminars on educating our youth. Plus heaps of creative works. (Thankfully no expectation of sports, I suck royally at that). The diversity of roles here is extraordinary, everyone has such interesting backgrounds. It’s a real, supportive community feel, if first impressions count for anything.

Perhaps it changes you, when you’ve worked in a hostile environment. Perhaps you become more appreciative of kindness in coworkers.

It took 8 years of nursing practice to find a place of belonging. Maybe sometimes it takes that long.

“Basically he just flat out said there was nothing that he could do but he was going to talk to the gynecologist because maybe they’d prescribe some more of that medication,” the woman said.
“He came back 10 minutes later and said, ‘Neither of us feels comfortable dealing with this situation, there’s nothing we can do. If you want, you can go to a clinic over in Halifax to get looked at.’”
She went home with no idea of the status of the fetus or of her own health.
“I had no idea what was happening inside of my body and no one would tell me,” she said.

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Tadah! It’s part two of Virus Indigo! Part one can be found here, if you want to refresh your memory/read that first!

Written by uesugisensei, and with art by me, it’s an access fan comic sort of thing, and I hope you guys will like it!

You can read it here (obviously) , or, together with part one, or via our website: ! I have no idea how this works, but I’m suspecting there will be an automated post on here when I update that website, but we’ll see.