Shock can best be defined as a condition in which tissue perfusion is inadequate to deliver oxygen and nutrients to support vital organs and cellular function (Hameed, Aird, & Cohn, 2003).
Without treatment, inadequate blood flow to the tissues results in poor delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the cells, cellular starvation, cell death, organ dysfunction progressing to organ failure, and eventual death.
Shock affects all body systems. It may develop rapidly or slowly, depending on the underlying cause. During shock, the body struggles to survive, calling on all it's homeostatic mechanisms to restore blood flow. Any insult to the body can create a cascade of events resulting in poor tissue perfusion. Therefore, almost any patient with any disease state may be at risk for developing shock.
Nursing care of patients with shock requires ongoing systematic assessment.
My Dad has told me many times that during change of any significance in a person's life it is important to acknowledge and grieve the loss that occurs there. This allows you can move forward towards the positive aspects of that change.
In the past few years I have come to really appreciate the truth in that statement and grown to realize how important it is for me to do that. I am someone who is built to take on conflict, issues, change, all of it, head on. More often than not I barrel forward in life paying little/no attention to where I'm at and focusing entirely on what's ahead. What I need to conquer. What problem needs to be solved. What change needs to happen that I can make happen. How I/we can get there as quickly and smoothly as possible.
When I read the above excerpts from my Textbook of Medical/Surgical Nursing it was astonishing to me how much shock (as it's defined in the medical field) can parallel shock as it relates to what can happen when someone experiences a crisis, a tragedy, or even just a major change in their life.
The paragraph I copied from the text concludes with a simple one-sentence summary of the nurse's care role for a patient who is in shock.
Ongoing systematic assessment. Both during and after the period in which a patient is in shock it is important to understand as closely as possible what stage they're in so that the nurse and the entire care team can best know how to help them at any given moment. While that is by no means all that a nurse does when a patient goes into shock, regardless of the type of shock (hypovolemic, cardiogenic, septic, neurogenic or anaphylactic) a patient enters into the text highlights that the main role of the nurse in that situation is to continually assess their condition.
Looking forward I see the value in checking in with others and myself often during times of important change, whatever it may be, to best know how I can serve or be served as processing through the change happens.
Hebrews 10:24 "Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works"