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It’s a noble profession September 27, 2007

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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Nursing is not for the faint of heart. It takes a special kind of person to have the right to be called “a nurse”. I’m not saying this because I am one… far from the truth, I struggle with this fact everyday I come to work because although my title says “RN”, I feel inadequate at that.

As I was performing routine nursing care for my patient one night, we were engaged in a conversation about his career. He is a 70+ year old gentleman who looks younger than his stated age and worked as structural engineer for almost 30 years. “Never been hospitalized in my life”, he says with a Brooklyn accent as he told me about how he ended up in the ICU. He was the unfortunate victim of an MVA that left him with a pelvic fracture after being T-boned by a careless driver at an intersection. He’s actually here for a small PE they discovered from a CT scan… he’s fine. We talked about how he decided to be an engineer. “I’ve seen my uncle do it and it got me interested”, he said as he tried to talk clearly through his face mask. As we continued, he asked me how I became a nurse. I told him I really wanted to be a pilot and maybe an astronaut someday, like most people growing up, you make decisions which eventually lead you to where you are at the moment. My mother wanted me to become a doctor (just like her), and for a while I fancied myself as a surgeon. I loved surgery and every aspect of it. I still remember my student days when we assisted in 5 major surgeries, it was awesome. I figured, a surgeon would be the last resort (in most cases), he’ll fix you up, and I thought to myself, I like to fix things.

We talked more about his current situation, then about health care in general, then other things. As we ended the conversation he told me, “nursing is a noble profession… we need more people like you.” I would soon realize what this meant in a couple of days.

Coming back to work, I had the privilege of taking care of a 24-year old gentleman who, in his moment of bliss (compliments of cocaine and marijuana), took off on an ATV and managed to turn over a few times before landing in a ditch. Luckily he survives sustaining a rib fracture with a punctured lung. He’s in step-down now and ready to be transferred to the med/surg floor, however, staffing shortages prevents him from going. Still, I had to take care of him.

After visiting hours his dad comes in to spend the night. As the shift wore on the time came for the highlight of the evening… the daily bath. My patient decides to sit up on a chair at the bedside while I gather my arsenal of towels, wash clothes and basins… oh yeah, don’t forget the soap! As he sat there I begin with the usual bath routine… face, behind the ears, one arm, torso, etc. When it came to the foot part I had to place the basin on the floor, stoop down low to a practically sitting position in which I began to washed his feet. Then, it struck me…

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Call it a reality check, I was reminded of what Jesus did when he was still on earth. He served the poor and needy soul and throughout His ministry, healed the sick. In fact, He healed more than he preached. This image of the Master washing His disciples feet came to mind… a symbol of humility He modeled for us as an example.

I know… sometimes it’s hard to stoop down like this, especially when our patients can be a pain in the neck… you know what I’m talking about, the constant complainers. Nevertheless, we were called to do a service by virtue of our profession. Yes, sometimes it’s a thankless job… oftentimes the recognition is not there. But regardless of the case, I’m still glad that I get to serve instead of being served. As the old saying goes, “it is better to give, than to receive”… and this I couldn’t agree more.

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Remember September 11, 2007

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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twintowers.jpg

I pulled into a gasoline station quickly to fill up as I was running kinda late, and all I hear was Rick Dees in the morning, on the radio talking with the usual excitement in his voice as he reports that a plane just struck one of the Twin Towers. “What?” I thought to myself trying to make sense of the chaos that seem to be surrounding me. I can see people run back and forth through the streets, a cloud of dust descending on us like a mist in the early morning air. As I opened my eyes, I realize that I was dreaming, however, this wasn’t just a dream. A plane did strike one of the towers, so I ran into the living room and turned on the TV. I can see the smoke, the images of people running in the streets, then moments later, the second plane hit. This is unbelievable.

It was a gloomy day at work, and things seem to happen in slow motion. The whole nation watches as the story unfolds. This hits close to home. We’re at war. Things aren’t the same anymore. All of a sudden we realize that there are people that want us, Americans, dead. Unfortunately, despite what people may think, they took part of our freedom away. I remember when I used to go through the airport without much of the security checks we have to endure today. I remember being detained at a border patrol station two years ago becuase I was of Philippine descent. Do I look like a terrorist to you? I could still remember telling them… “c’mon guys, I’ve been here since 1994, working as a nurse, taking care of your sick, give me a break!” Nope, that won’t work. 09/11/01 will always be a day to remember. You must have a sick mind, and a messed up one at that if you think learning to fly a plane and crashing into a building will make you a god. And to think that they actually teach their children to hate Americans is ludicrous. Why don’t they just gather themselves together, strap themselves with dynamite, and blow each other up so they can become gods and just leave us alone? Is there hope?

I believe so… look up. See the photograph of the Twin Towers? This picture was taken by a lady who was returning from a cruise one summer. It was taken less than two months before the attacks. What do you seen in the center? Does it look familiar? Have we become so busy that we fail to remember Who blessed this great nation of ours? Have we failed to remember our heritage, the faith of our founding fathers? Have we become a nation that want the blessing while forgetting the One who gives it freely? In the weeks after the attacks, people started to remember to go to church… years later do we still remember? Sometimes tragedy happens so we don’t forget.

Let’s remember those who lost their lives on this day and say a prayer for their families and for our nation as well. Let’s not forget the God who, because of the faith of our founding fathers, have provided for and made this nation great. God is in control, do you remember?

I give myself and “F” for F-fort! September 5, 2007

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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Oh my gulay! Salutations and apologies!

It’s been a while since my last post and all I can say is, “time surely flies when you’re havin’ fun!” Well sorta. You see, I’ve been having internet connection problems lately. For some reason our wonderful cable broadband connection decides to have bouts of disconnectitis. I’ve been playing phone tech tag with our cable company for the last two weeks who unfortunately could not seem to resolve this ongoing issue. All they can offer is “I see that your modem is not responding, we’ll have to set an appointment with you for a later date.”

After days of tinkering, poking and probing (thanks in part to the nursing process), I finally figured it out. The culprit… a cable signal splitter box that weakens the signal causing my modem to disconnect from the network. (Too bad the cable company doesn’t pay you to fix their problem. Maybe I should charge them, what do you think? 🙂 ). I took the splitter box out and performed a coaxial cable anastomosis from the point of signal origin to the point of signal insertion. I just hope this fixes the problem… it’s causing me too much stress in school. (I’m pursuing my Bachelors in Information Technology online). If there’s one thing I learned it is this… we are getting too dependent on the Internet that it is a big part of our lives whether we like it or not, whether we realize it or not… isn’t that something to think about?

For all it’s worth, I think we should take a step back and try to simplify our lives as much as we can. Get back to the basics, you know, the kinda life we had back in the day when viruses were confined to the cold and worms were critters you dig from the ground. Who would have imagined that viruses could infect computers and worms actually migrate to your PC! (Don’t worry, it’s all in the software.) Imagining life without the Internet is like imagining how we ever survived without a microwave oven. My children (our children) will not be able to imagine a life without the Internet, like if they were to see a rotary phone, they wouldn’t know what to do with it!

Times have definitely changed and what was once the future is here today. Who knows what else is coming up the pipeline… virtual nursing? Hmmm… that’s not a bad idea. Do you think this can be the answer to our nursing shortage problem? Just kidding! 🙂