So this week held some new challenges for me. I have now worked all three shift times that the department runs on, and I have to say that Night Shift is really hard! Sleeping and eating are all very disrupted and catching up with people nearly impossible! Thankfully I only have to do 3-4 nights at a time, and there are several weeks between turns. I’m proud of myself for giving it a go and I know that Claytie would be proud of me too.

Some of the things I have seen at work this week, have been quite confronting and it has taken a bit to get my head around it. The emergency department is a whole world on its own. The mix of people that come through the doors is vast and fascinating! For the most part they have been lovely and understanding of my newness and learning, and I am grateful for that, but there have been things that have happened that I have had to really think about.

One roles of my job happens near a private room that is used for ‘end of life’ patients. People who are not going to survive without the machines that they are attached to, and whose family members have made the decision to remove them from those machines. It is hard having to do the admin stuff knowing that for these people and their families things will never be the same, and understanding just how hard life will be for them going forward.

We had one such patient this week – my first. A woman who was not yet 60, brought in after a massive brain haemorrhage – a stroke. She was brought into the private room from the emergency bay and moved to a bed before her family joined her and the doctors in the room. The grief was palpable as they walked past us into the room, and once the machines were turned off, it was loud.

Other peoples grief is almost harder than my own in a whole lot of ways, and that comes as a surprise when my own is so very heavy. Listening to this family grieve their person was really hard. I know what the next bit looks like for them and it is not a nice picture. It is part of life tho and I know I will see more of these situations in the job I am now doing. I know that there will be an amount of desensitisation that happens with time, and that saddens me too – life, and it’s end, should carry weight with it and we should feel it.

The other thing that I have found confronting has been the patients who come into emergency with what can only be described as very significant mental health issues. It is really sad to see how many people have huge mental health issues (I would almost say at least a quarter of the presentations) , and how hard that is to work through.

It is hard listening to their anguish and then watching them abuse the people who are there to help. It is hard seeing them run through the department with security and/or police chasing them, pushing through people and the paraphernalia that comes with treating them. Spitting at nurses or shitting (literally) on their beds and throwing it around And it is especially confronting seeing them needing to be restrained by what looks like an excessive number of people for their own safety.

It hasn’t all been negative tho, and I am really enjoying the role over all so far. The people I have been working with have been lovely, and I am starting to get my head around the things I have to do. It is hard being the new person, and not knowing all the things that you need to know, but that will come with time and I need to be kinder to myself with the process. I am working on mindfulness and relaxation (my bath has been getting quite the workout) and that has helped with the anxiety that is constant. I keep on putting one foot in front of the other and I have Clayties voice in my ear telling me I’m doing ok.

1 Comment

  1. Cupcake says:

    Much love. You are doing amazing . And your care and experience with loss will help someone else navigate it and I’m sure you will make sure that they are treated with care and respect

    Liked by 1 person

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