Although I have talked a lot about nurses who failed to
impress me, there really are many wonderful nurses out there. This is from my
When I did my day of observation in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), I
worked with a nurse named "Bobbi." We had two patients, a 1 1/2 lbs
boy, and a 3 1/2 lbs, two month old (also born at 1 1/2 lbs and 25 weeks)
girl. However, down the hall another nurse, "Suzy" had sole responsibility
for a 13 oz. girl. This baby was so tiny. She was one of a set of
twins born at 25 weeks. Her sister had already died, and she was in a
very precarious condition.
About 11 am Bobbi’s phone rings. She then says, "Suzy needs help,
wait here until I return." So I am standing there when about 10
minutes later two EMT’s come rushing by with this full size gurney and go into
Suzy’s pod. I thought, "Surely they aren’t going to use that full
size gurney to transport that tiny little baby." Well about 10
minutes later they come rushing out headed in the other direction. On the
gurney is Suzy, her scrub top covered in blood, and holding a blood soaked
towel to her face. She had popped a blood vessel inside a nasal cavity,
and was bleeding profusely. She and Bobbi couldn’t get it to stop
bleeding, so she was being transported down to the ER for treatment.
The other nurses gathered and decided how they were going to re-shuffle the
work for the rest of the shift, as it was obvious Suzy wasn’t going to be
back. She had lost quite a bit of blood.
About an hour later I am in the hall when the doors swing open, and here
comes Suzy, literally rushing back to her pod. She had on a way too big
jacket to cover her blood stained scrubs. You could see
cotton sticking out of both of her nares, and there was a strip of tape
across the bottom of her nose to hold the packing in.
Bobbi and another nurse stopped her and asked, "What are you doing
here? Go Home." "I need to finish my shift," says
Suzy. "No," said Bobbi, "We’ve got it all worked
out and me and the other nurses are going to cover for
you. It will be fine. Go home." Suzy looked at her with
these steel cold eyes and said, "No one knows her (the 13 oz preemie) like
I do. I need to finish my shift." That stopped
Bobbi cold. She thought for a second and said, "You’re
right. We don’t." With that she got out of Suzy’s way.
I didn’t think much of this at the time it happened, but I have thought
about it a lot since. When I grow up, I want to be just like Suzy, who is
so dedicated, and Bobbi, who puts pride aside to do what is right for the