I have dedicated 35 years of my life as a nurse: in the ICU for 33 years and behavioral health/intensive management for the last two. I thought it would be time to take a break from ICU nursing. Surely behavioral health would be a lot easier — kind of a slide into my near-future retirement.
Post Author: Debbie Moore-Black, RN
Mom wept silently as she stared at her dead daughter — quiet, near catatonic. I was prepared for a sharp scream. But she sat there quietly. She was staring at her beautiful but lifeless daughter. Young with long black hair and 21 years old. She was mom’s pride and joy. The daughter got into yet
Recently, a former NFL football player, Phillip Adams, murdered Dr. Robert Lesslie, his wife, his two grandchildren ages 5 and 9, an air conditioning appliance man, and critically injured a second man. The NFL player had gunned down these innocent people. And then, he left and went to his parent’s house (who lived on the
At an early age, Tasha remembered looking up to her mama dressed in a crisp white uniform and a nursing cap placed perfectly upon her head — one bobby pin at a time. Tasha learned what sacrifice, responsibility, and dedication were all about. She also knew her mama’s love for the nursing profession. When Tasha
Everyone loved Mrs. Maria. She was everyone’s mom, grandma, teacher. Maria grew up in poverty. Though her family was poor, she knew her parents and siblings loved her and loved each other. But the one thing she knew her passion was at was school. Every morning she couldn’t wait to go to school and learn
Her son went to visit her at her house of 52 years. The sound in the bathroom indicated that the faucet in the tub was running and overflowing onto the floor. A series of events piled one on top of the other. A totaled car, candles burning in the house haphazardly, repetitive questions mentioned five
The emergency department. A haven for cardiac arrests and gunshot wounds and respiratory distress and overdoses and auto accidents and children’s sniffles and fever and coughs that won’t go away. The ED was easy access to many. And at times, it was an easy fix not to pay the bill upfront or to be anonymous
I was an assistant nurse manager (ANM) in a 24 bed ICU in my younger, energetic years. Before that, I was a manager in a very small emergency department. I must say, I loved it. I loved the thrill and the challenge. I was able to work with the Joint Commission; I ordered EKG monitors
As I take the pups on their daily walk around the neighborhood. I come upon eight adults outside their houses, near the street, laughing and coughing and sneezing and smoking their cigarettes and huddled up close together. They didn’t say hello to me, nor did I to them. But I listened: “I ain’t gettin’ the
I knocked on his door. It was 8:30 pm—medication time. Jerome slowly opened his door. He was easily over 6 feet tall. Towering over my 4′ 11.5″ self. Naked. Eye to eye with his penis. He chanted, “You ain’t a bitch. You ain’t a ho … you my wife.” OK Jerome, take your medicine. I’ve
He was a healthy 36-year-old paramedic with a loving wife and an adorable little boy. Jim loved his job. The rush, the adrenaline, the blaring lights through downtown hurrying to get to the major hospital. Cardiac arrests, gunshot wounds, tragic auto accidents, respiratory arrests, CPR, compressions, starting IVs. Speaking to the ER physician en route
After 33 years as an ICU RN, I had finally decided I couldn’t do this anymore. It was my last nightshift. The last shift convinced me I had made the right decision. The CNA and I went door to door to turn each ICU patient that was not capable of turning themselves. ICU-06: Mrs. Thelma
I enter the hospital to work again. I must work as I have three small children and a husband presently out of work because of COVID. He is “non-essential.” A violinist is playing at the employee entrance. I know they do this to lift our spirits. But it’s a slow, sad string that reminds me
I’d like to preface this story by saying that the majority of the intensivists I have worked with have been exceptional, caring, and professional. We had all established a good camaraderie, and we had mutual respect for each other. We worked well together. But there always seemed to be one that was the exception. And
1986. I graduated from LPN to RN. And I was immediately offered a new job. Manager of a six-bed ER. This hospital had three surgical suites — 50 inpatient beds and 2 L&D suites. This was a private Catholic hospital run by the nuns. The computer system was new and a foreign object. Sister Ursula*
I never have a problem going to sleep. In fact, after I work a night shift, I easily go into a semi-coma. But tonight is different. 2 days off from work, with a regular sleep schedule at night, but my mind is twirling. I can’t sleep. So at 3 a.m., I took a shower. Took
I had to earn my “stripes” in ICU. After I graduated from nursing school, the “big” hospitals wouldn’t take me into the ICU, as I had no experience as an ICU nurse. Back in the early 1980s, there was no such thing as an internship program. I desperately wanted to become an ICU nurse. So
She was naked in her seclusion room — a padded cell — with her gown on the floor and drenched in her urine. I was her nurse. I gave her lithium. She put the pill in her mouth and then spit it at me in my face. Then her tirade began: “I’m Jesus. The FBI
They scream and holler and march. Open up the U.S. This is a hoax. Coronavirus is deadly. Invisible as the virus makes its trek across our U.S. Across the universe. Nurses and doctors and respiratory therapists are being named heroes. Signs and banners and free meals and cookies and doughnuts and loads of adoration come
Our 23 bed ICU has been converted to COVID-19 patients. All of them. I want to tell myself this is science fiction, but it’s not. It’s real. And we are scared. As I enter the unit to start my night shift, we have a huddle of the off-going and oncoming nurses. We are committed to
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