After a long night, the frigid morning air slapped me awake as I walked out of the hospital from just attending a delivery. Once home, I decided I had enough energy to do a “high intensity” workout and signed myself up to go in an hour.
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She appeared suddenly in the doorway and hissed, “You’re very rude!”
With her words echoing around the darkened room, the evening nurse stomped off the ward as I went back to assessing my patient.
It was 1966. As a third-year nursing student assigned to the night shift, I shared responsibility for a twenty-bed unit with a nurse’s aide. The evening nurse and I had just finished the two time-honored traditions that occurred with the change of shifts: patient report and counting narcotics.
“Yea, that was crazy –,” I caught myself and glanced nervously at the resident, hoping I hadn’t committed a classic medical student-gaffe.
He responded diplomatically, something about having made the right call for the situation.
We should have been in the OR hours earlier, at the first sign of fetal distress. Instead, she was left writhing in pain in the labor bed. I wet a cloth for her face and watched the fetal heart rate drop lower and lower. We helped her change
The truth can be painful. I know. I was once given the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. But what stung more than the truth itself was the way in which that truth was