I don’t know if any of you nurses out there struggle with what I’ve been fighting over the last year or so. Whenever I’m in a large crowd and see elderly people or someone not looking so hot, I play the worst-case scenario out in my mind.
They collapse. I run over. Start CPR. Yell for an AED. Crowd control. Rip off shirt. Attach pads. Shock them. Hear their wife sobbing behind me. CPR. CPR. Oh, more CPR. Shock again.
You get the picture.
Ever since I started working in critical care, I started getting this crowd anxiety. Through spiritual support and prayer, I have been making some strides.
I started to think about it though.. although it produces anxiety, it really is amazing that we know how to shock life back into people. We pump someone’s heart to get blood to their organs. We alert the medical team when things start to look not so great. Because of our job, we know how to save lives.
I just had to think on those two words for a while: save lives
We save lives so often, it seems to lose its meaning over time. I know I’m guilty of this. Maybe that’s just the way we cope so we can continue to do this job day in and day out. Or maybe we do it so we don’t have to keep thinking about life and death any more than we already do.
But when you push epi and get a pulse back, or when you shock someone and get a rhythm, or when you catch something early (sepsis, increased intercranial pressure, worsening bleeding, etc.) .. and because of you they didn’t have to die, it’s so surreal.
Because of you (and the rest of the team), that person still has life in them. That person who has a family, a spouse, children, grandchildren, siblings, parents, friends, pets.. because of you, that person is not dead.
It it just so freakin’ cool that it’s part of our job that we know how save lives. People are brought to us so we can keep them from dying. And we get paid!
I just know I’ve gotten to a point where it has turned into a job on some days and I forget. I forget how amazing it is that through my care, I am prayerfully preventing someone’s death. And in some cases, allowing them to die with dignity.
The crowd anxiety, although unsettling, brought me back. It brought me back to reality. It brought my heart and my head back to the ground so I can again acknowledge and be aware of the basic wonders of our job and not get lost in the tasks.
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Our job is just so freakin’ cool.
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