Friday, May 3, 2013

MRI why do I cry?

I had an amazing week at work. I learned so much and got to experience a lot of new situations. I did a home visit with a PHN from another unit (not CPS) and we saw a family together. I handled most of the visit, asked questions, gave the mother information, and took over since she was transferring the case to me. When we left, she said she learned a lot from watching me and thought I was great at it. I was a little surprised because I don't think that highly of myself. It made me feel good that this mom would trust me, be vulnerable with me, and let me into her life. I wish everyone could see what I see and have more compassion for their fellow human beings.

I recently observed a family bring a child for an MRI scan. It is scary to have your child go through that! I never realized how traumatic it could be. To see a child asleep, lifeless, under anesthesia, I couldn't help but feel shocked. I entered the MRI department with the family. The child was changed into a gown and pediatric pants. The child was fitted for a mask. Then we went into the anesthesia room where the anesthesiologist administered the laughing gas or nitrous oxide in strawberry flavor. He was great about explaining before hand what would happen, but it's still not as scary as seeing it in person. When the child was taken into the room he started crying immediately, I guess the scene was familiar or he felt unsafe. The child was put down and was still crying and the mask was fitted to his face. The doctor explained that the crying will actually make the medication work faster to put him to sleep so no one was to stop the administration, but rather we could help hold the child down. The doctor had explained how the child would fight it and wriggle and be agitated to try to stay awake and then go limp after about 30 seconds. It's strange to see how much the natural instinct of humans is to fight to stay alive as much as possible. Then, he was asleep and we were escorted out to the waiting room while the MRI was done. It was terrifying for the mother who cried a little and I wanted to cry to, but had to hold it in so as to be professional. This job makes me cry a lot when I see parents cry. That must be hard for them. That's what scares me about having kids, how hard it is to see your children suffer.

I used to think that when the Bible said you should cry with those who cry (Romans 12:15), I would be thinking, "Why would I cry? How can I talk to them if I'm crying?" But now I kind of understand what it means. Naturally, I think (hope) that a (normal) human being seeing someone else suffer would naturally feel bad and want to cry, too. At least that's how I always feel with the families I work with when I see them cry. I think most importantly, it's to let people know that they're not alone. Maybe that's what God is all about, letting you know that you're not alone, no matter what.

This job is not the best first job in terms of nursing clinical skills. I don't do a whole lot of that, but I wish I could. Regardless, my plan is to eventually become an NP and this job is really teaching me a lot about the environments that families come home to. When I go to clinics or the hospitals, doctors often have ridiculous expectations of what patients have to do for their health. They don't give a second thought to how these people actually live their lives. Sure, they know that these families are poor, immigrants, monolingual maybe, or homeless and yet they require a 3-time daily medication, weekly blood draws or clinic visits, and home renovations for environmental control in a month. If I couldn't even do that as a nurse with a partner and 6-figure income, how could someone who wasn't as resourced do it? It pisses me off that providers don't really ask the right questions to see if patients can give treatments. However, I am grateful to learn that for myself because I feel it will make me a better provider.

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