I feel a little caught at the moment
Caught between work and home.
I worked a long day yesterday, will be going to work soon on a half day late and will be working a long day again tomorrow and again on Sunday
The times in between seem caught up with sleeping, chasing solicitors and dog walking
tis the way of the world.
Now nurses employ several coping mechanisms in order to deal with the stressors of the job.
When young, burning the candle at both ends is often the way to go. Black humour and sassy team support are others
Mindfulness, alcohol, holidays and duvet bashing all have their place too,
as does Task Orientation!
For those that don't know Task Orientation is where a nurse concentrates on the physical tasks that need to be done at work rather than the more stressful patient centred activities.
The job can be as mindless as you like ( when I was a charge nurse I often used to spend an hour or two a week pruning and watering a rooftop garden I had designed for my ward patients to enjoy.) but the activity allows you to come down from the mental pressures of dealing with constant distress in order to recharge or regroup.
Yesterday, late morning
It was my job to change the syringe driver medication for a dying patient
(syringe drivers, for those that don't know are medical devices that administer a specific amount of medication to a patient during a 24 hour period and medication which can be a mixture of analgesia, sedatives, anti nausea meds and the like)
The patient is a young woman and she is alone and unconscious.
It is rare to find this patient without her family and I noticed that they had left some music playing in their absence. The music sounded like the theme to Amelie
In the restfulness of the room I sat down at the bedside and occupied myself to the task in hand.
The muscle memory in my fingers is now established after the changing of scores of these syringes and the quiet task was a welcome diversion from another busy morning.
After changing a second device I stopped a moment and looked at my young patient, automatically checking her breathing rate and depth.
Then I sat still for a moment, listening to the music that was playing.
I had finished my tasks
I had several more tasks to do
But I sat there with my hands in my lap for ten long minutes doing nothing more than being there
A quiet hospice room by the sea, and The theme from Amelie played sweetly on the piano