Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Often when someone finds out I'm a medic or studying to be a nurse and aspire to be a physician someday the first reaction -- one might say it's borderline impulsive -- is a question. "How do you handle all that blood and stuff? Doesn't that just gross you out? What about all that vomit, when people throw up?"
Here is my answer.

Yes it's no less than absolutely horrifying to take off the bandage of a patient that has stage IV sacral decubitus, or measure body fluids of someone who is coming out from an alcohol-induced coma. I've been thrown up and bled on quite a few times, but it isn't about the smells, the sights, or the horror of it all. If it was about the situations medical personnel deal with then every sick, twisted person and anyone who loves gory, graphic vile depictions of humanity in pain would work at a hospital.
It's about the patient. Someone who works on cars has come to terms with the fact they'll go home covered in grease, oil and dirt that has been on the undercarriage of a vehicle for sometimes decades. Nurses know that in order to provide a living, breathing human being refuge from whatever they're experiencing, sometimes it requires that they get a little dirty.

My job and that of all medics, nurses and physicians will never be to administer Vicodin, suture a wound or perform a palate surgery. A hospital with no people in it is a...medical supply store. It has to be about the patient first, then what needs to be done can be done and if it's in my scope of practice I'll do it.
There are times I've gagged in front of a patient, and there will be more I'm sure. But the moment it becomes about how something bothers me, how gross or awful it is or how I don't want to deal with it I've just lost sight of everything. The patient is everything, it's about them.

Not everyone in the world is made to be in medical care, but anyone can provide it if needed.
It requires the very little knowledge or experience but a lot of will power to put pressure on a huge cut that's bleeding, or sit someone up who's vomiting while they're lying down.

No comments:

Post a Comment