THIS STUFF |
October 24, 2008
Name: RN Clara Hart
Posting date: 10/24/08
Stationed in: a military hospital in the U.S.
Milblog url: macneillysperspective.blogspot.com
“You could be the poster child for nurses," said one of the docs.
What’s that supposed to mean?
I don’t want to be a poster anything. An hour left to go on my string of 12-hour shifts, I anxiously await the arrival of my relief. One more shift not going home on time. Another patient crashing, circling the drain and all of our energies focused on trying to save them.
Another family, a husband and grown daughter this time. Huddled in a chair, tears free flowing. Me hardening my heart and turning away. Busy with my own patients and devoid of emotional reserve to share, I call the CDO’s* desk and ask that they send the chaplain forthwith. It’s all I can do.
Another night shuffling out of the building too tired to think. Grateful not to have to return the next day, or the one after, but finding sleep interrupted by dreams of MASCALs* and dead bodies everywhere.
A group of nurses and techs attending the funeral of one of our OEF patients.Talking with young coworkers, hearing about their tears, anxiety and nightmares. Listening to them put to voice all the symptoms of compassion fatigue, PTSD and whatever else we struggle with. Another aerovac arrives and hell starts again. No relief in sight, we get no help.This stuff gets to us.
CDO: command duty officer
MASCAL: mass casualty/disaster