Stray Syringes and Ink Pens
Nursing is one of those GOD-given gigs that will keep you knowing you have no control. From the moment I step into my workplace, I succumb to the laundry list of prep work, e-mail responses and things to do. In the midst of the third patient care process of the day, I find that I cannot find my ink pen and uh-oh, where is that syringe? Do not be alarmed, it is not like the needle is filled with a toxic substance nor is the needle exposed. No. I just like to place used needles into the proper safety disposable container… you know… facility policy, and all. Anyway, I’ll find it I am sure, as soon as I get done with helping my CNA with Mr. Brigg’s bed bath, changing Mrs. Clare’s colostomy bag and, flushing Buddy Aldridge’s IV line. Now where is my ink pen? Most people in healthcare hate to lose things, although it seems, it is a common occurrence. Did you know, “Case records from… researchers… identified 40 cases of retained surgical items during a seven-year period, 11 of which involved uncomplicated vaginal deliveries and 29 of which were surgical procedures. (4) Most of the cases (n = 22, 55%) involved abdominal surgery. An inaccurate count was observed in 22 of the 29 (76%) surgical procedures, and on three occasions, no count was performed.” [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FSL/is_1_78/ai_105439652/] Hmm? Okay so I haven’t assisted in a surgical procedure since 1987, so I couldn’t have lost that syringe or my pink ink pen there. But it is amazing that healthcare workers get so busy that things can get lost all of the time; ink pens, syringes, nametags (I’ve lost 8 in my 25 year career), keys – I haven’t really lost these (I have just forgotten what they are for), patient garments (check the laundry room), spare change, large sums of money (check the department store receipt) and on occasion small children who refuse to hold your hand in crowded places! Did I mention I have three sons? Little wonder that nurses and doctors are notorious for losing things. There are hundreds of thousands of people moving through the American health care system every day. Yes it is a busy field. Apparently the one thing health care professionals lose most often is their patience. If you have ever been sick, hospitalized or made to sit in a doctor’s office for any extended amount of time, you can relate. From the front desk to the bedside commode, these trained professional can “humph”, grumble and tap their toes Olympian style. Nobody made us get into the human service game but we did and so, our personal temperaments often become the victims of the hard to resolve. Frustration, tedium and stress set in to stir within us a strange concoction of perpetual impatience. Such a loss of patience with our patients and others, it causes local medical offices to charge $25 for missed appointments and MDs to speak physician with a rapid fire tongue. The same lack of patience makes nurses cranky and specialists impertinent. Patience, yes I have lost mine too. I am so glad the Great Physician has not lost patience with me, a woman who seems to refuse to be healed. Christ has taken so much gentle and long-suffering care of me that I do not deserve. I imagine the Savior sitting on His throne, watching me gun through my days. Maybe He created the age old technique of counting to 10? Probably not, after all He taught us to pray. And when it comes to frustration or a loss of patience, prayer works – let me tell you! Speaking of prayer, LORD help me find that syringe and my favorite ink pen so I can get through this pile of orders. Amen. Anyway, I was lost and Jesus found me. If my patience is lost, He helps me find it. You know? My favorite parable reminds me of what GOD has done for me… “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:8-10 There is no doubt about, it’s a good thing to find what we have lost. Hey! Here they are! The syringe and my ink pen! Right here under my nose, and a scrambled pile of doctors’ orders. So glad I found them, so glad Jesus found me. LORD, save me from stray syringes and ink pens and wasting precious time. Better get back to work. The day is marching on, Mr. Wallace, slow down! I’ll help you. Moving fast so I don’t lose a patient! …Hope you find what you are missing.