As a nurse on a fast-paced telemetry unit, each shift is a blur of call lights, monitors, meds, rounding doctors, ringing phones, and endless beeps. There are ECGs to read, electrolytes to correct, and assessments to be documented. There’s pain to be controlled, potties to be visited, and updates to be given. Admissions, discharges, families, visitors – constant comings and goings – all wanting attention right “STAT” now. In other words – it’s tightly-controlled chaos. All. The. Time.
As medical professionals, our primary focus has to be keeping our patients safe and alive. That’s it – the bottom line. That’s why we’re here. Ultimately, our goal is to see these patients improve, leave that hospital bed far behind, and go back to living life.
In order for this to happen, though, the chaos of the unit is absolutely necessary. As much as we want to escape from it at times – as much as it drives us to tears and interrupts our lunch – this is the process through which medical improvement actually happens. It’s just the reality of being a nurse.
The real challenge, though, lies in seeing the patients through the stress. Yes, the patients. Not the disease processes, not the machines, not the hassles. The actual patients themselves. The human beings. Because they’re here. Right now. Placed by God. They’re ours. They’re sick. They’re in pain. They’re lonely. They’re afraid. They need help. They trust us.
I’m not just speaking from a nursing perspective here, but personally, as well. Seeing what’s right in front of me is one of my greatest struggles. We’re all busy in life – no matter how we fill our time. We all have stress. We all have distractions. We all get caught up in getting things done. We’re all going in a thousand different directions in our minds. We’re all on a roller coaster of some type. All. The. Time.
We have to make time to stop. Step away from the chaos. Shift our focus. Seek God and listen. Be still and just think. I call this “intentional pondering”. And it’s important. Because, inside the hospital or out, there are lost humans who are hurting. Sometimes we’re so blinded by our goal-driven tendencies that we don’t notice them, but they’re here. Right now. Placed by God. They’re ours. They’re sick. They’re in pain. They’re lonely. They’re afraid. They need help. They trust us.
There’s just so much love to give. Let’s step away from the chaos and show them Jesus.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)