29: Patients Are a Virtue!

29: Patients Are a Virtue!

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Nurses

Patients Are a Virtue!

He deserves paradise who makes his companions laugh.

~The Koran

Many years ago a middle-aged man named Bill was admitted to our Med-Surg unit for stomach ulcers. And there Bill was assigned a roommate who drove him nuts.

The college-age kid was quite the chatterbox. He had broken his leg in a motorcycle accident and was confined to his hospital bed with his leg in a cast. He stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, watching television and talking on the phone. Bill would start to drift off to sleep when his roommate’s raucous laughter would jolt him awake. This went on for several days.

Sleep-deprived and grumpy, Bill was at his wit’s end.

Halfway through his hospital stay, I was assigned a freshman nursing student to shadow me for part of my shift. It was her first day in a clinical setting. When I asked her to obtain a set of vital signs from Bill’s roommate, she took his temperature and pulse but hesitated with the blood pressure cuff. “I’m sorry,” she said sheepishly. “I don’t know how to take a blood pressure yet.”

I started to demonstrate how to do so when Bill piped up from behind the privacy curtain. “Just wrap it around his neck and pump up that little black bulb until he turns blue.”

~Cheryll Snow

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