Work was, interesting, yah that’s the word I’m looking for, this past week. Working on a neuro unit now, I have many patients that come in with strokes or TIA’s (mini-strokes). They, almost always, are elderly. This means either stress or fun, sometimes a little of both.
Seems a good 50% of the floor’s patients, this last week, were confused, leaning more towards the stressful side of the curve. We use special little alarm boxes with tabs that clip to their gowns that pull out if the patient tries to exit the bed. (If they are not safe to be up on their own.) The result is a piercing alarm that alerts us (but never seems to make them stop.) Last night, ALL the alarm boxes were spoken for. I believe their are 8.
I enjoy taking care of the elderly, most of the time. There are ups and downs.
One thing that makes it enjoyable are the things they say.
A few things noted from my three nights last week:
- Said by a pleasantly confused gentleman sitting in a chair (too restless and unsafe to be in bed) in the hall by the nurses desk, as I was walking past: “With all this wandering around you’re doing at night, you should get a job!” Ha Ha!
- Said by another pleasantly confused fella when I asked him to smile to check the symmetry of his facial muscles: “All you need in life is a great smile!” (That’s the meaning of life right there, I believe.)
- Said by a woman (not confused) ringing me up at Chipotle (I was in scrubs, on the way to work): “Do you work in pediatrics? You smell good like little babies.” That one threw me. I had on perfume. Was that it? Me a peds RN? No way!
- When asking an only slightly-confused little old lady if she has any psychological troubles (on her admission history form) she replied: “honey, anyone who’s been through a divorce and has three children is going to have a little trouble.” She’s on to something.
Sure they make me pull my hair out, like when they won’t stop obsessing over their bowels or won’t fall asleep at night or won’t stay safely in bed.
Yet, I love taking care of geriatric patients. There’s a lot to be learned from them.