I’m an ICU RN. I wish the general public knew that I may not gush or smile. It’s not because I don’t care. It’s because I am focusing on caring for my patients and getting everything done. That my patients always come first. I will go without eating or drinking or bathroom breaks – I sure wish they knew what we do to our bodies. My charting (they need to know we have a crap ton of charting to do) comes last. I may get stuck after my shift an hour or two to chart. Also asking ++++questions while I’m giving meds or assessing the patient takes away my focus and care of the patient. That they need to appoint one person in their family to update others. In a critical area (or any area for that matter) of nursing It is extremely hard to answer multiple questions to 10 different family members or even worse multiple phone calls. Each time I get a call I have to leave a patients room to address it. Please use the call light and don’t walk out to the nurses station. Please don’t visit or more importantly CALL during shift change. We are educated and have required continuing education. We have to be doctor and pharmacist too. Meaning we need to know correct dosages, frequencies, drug interactions etc, and we catch mistakes that started with a doctors order and was missed by the pharmacist. Also that we look at everything – vital signs, labs, test results, doctor orders, medications and patient history in addition to their assessment. We analyze it all. That is a lot of responsibility. That takes skill and knowledge all of which we don’t always have a lot of time to utilize. If we are sitting down we are still working! So many don’t understand that.
- DH September 22, 2015