From one nurse to another, please remember and know that we make the difference.
> We are not handmaidens and glorified waitresses.
> We are not the doormat that the doctor stomps on when he or she is having a bad day.
> We are the last door that remains between the patient and the System.
> We have the power to STOP everything.
> We are the last one to prevent the mistake!
Because of me, a child’s airway did not catch on fire when I noticed that Anesthesia had the Oxygen turned on during a tonsillectomy.
Because of me, a man in a coma did not receive brain surgery because I demanded to look at the labs while the surgeon screamed at me to take the patient to the Operating Room; his glucose was 800.
Because of me, a teenager only got a nick in his finger instead of a wrong site finger surgery.
Because of me, a baby did not get the wrong ear worked on.
Because of me demanding an x-ray, the doctor had to come back and re-open the wound to pull out a sponge that he had left behind the liver. I got screamed at by the surgeon for not being able to count sponges that day, but I stood my ground that a sponge was lost. The patient lived without complications.
Because of me an infant did not get surgery on the wrong side of his brain. I got screamed at for being stupid and not being able to read an x-ray, but afterward, after I had proven that I was correct, the doctor thanked me over and over.
Because of me, an adult did not get the wrong knee replaced when I looked in the window of another room and saw they had the wrong leg prepped and ready.
Because of me, a patient did not get a quadruple dose of Digoxin by a student nurse just because I saw her walking into the patient's room with a 10cc syringe instead of a 1cc syringe.
Nurses, you are the last wall between the System and the Patient. You must not cower down when you think something is wrong.
STOP the system and clarify. It doesn’t matter that someone might scream at you and your feelings might get hurt.