Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Photographs and Memories

The last couple of months have been pretty rough. The census has been at least 50% above our usual and people are tired of the overtime. Even with nurses floating in from other units and external agency, it's been pretty rough some days. I go home aching and wonder if it's all worth it.

It is, of course, and we keep a reminder very near the nurses station. The bulletin board with the photos and letters is supposed to be there to inspire the parents of our current patients - to let them know that there is hope. It helps the staff too. One picture in particular has been my inspiration lately. She was only 23 weeks, barely a pound.

Her course was rocky, as might be expected, but she eventually went home. That was 18 years ago. Her smiling face is posted on the board - her senior picture. She'll graduate from high school this year and go to college in the fall - athlete and honor student. Her parents are rightfully proud of her. So are her nurses -- and my step is just a little lighter this morning.

5 comments:

Lisa said...

We have the same kind of bulletin board at my pediatric rehabilitation hospital. I look at it every week, even if there are no new pics up, just for the boost it gives me. Seeing a graduation picture of a kid I remember being in a coma, trached and on a vent, with a GT....makes my shift much more meaningful, you know?

Love your blog!

NNP said...

We are just the opposite, census about half what it usually is. Staff complaining that they can not get any overtime. I personally realize it is a nice break, because we will likely be busting at the seams in the next few months. Graduates do give inspiration!

Laura said...

like nnp, we are the opposite....hey, we'll take some of those patients off of your hands to help out!
seriously, i love foolow-up visits, cards, letters and pictures...more than ever as i have a 5 y/o ex 24 weeker myself. non one, including his nicu rn mama held much confidence in a happy ending yet here he i living, thriving and talking to me about the size of texas. your former patient is one of those i will tuck away into my heart as i hope and pray for my sweet boy.

DisappearingJohn said...

Had one of those nights myself last night...

We don't have a success board, but that's one of the problems with ED. If we get the sick ones out of the ED alive, their a success in our book. The problem is they are just starting their battle...

My Heart On My Sleeve said...

That is so beautiful!! Thanks for sharing that!!