Once upon a time, in a kingdom far far away, there was a hospital filled with happy nurses and staff. So happy so, even their HCAHPS had perfect scores.
Patients would come from all around the kingdom to be cared for by these nurses, for it is the best there is, but the patients all knew, only to go to the ER if you get mauled by a tiger in the zoo and not necessarily for the cold or the flu.
No matter if you had insurance, you'd be treated all the same, as long as you don't sign out AMA, and come back the very same day.
The hospital always had enough staff, there were always available IV pumps and functional Dinamaps. The lab and pharmacy were great too. They would always draw your labs, and have your meds available, even before it was due.
The physicians worked together with the nurses and always answered when called because saving a life is a team effort after all.
The food was always prepared and served warm, and the patients would always receive a tray that followed the diet they were on. The respiratory therapists would come around with neb treatments making sure everyone is breathing, but the nurses would also suction a patient, in case they were busy.
This indeed was the perfect hospital, management respected the nurses and understood that at times they were tied up, and patients lives mattered more than those stinking whiteboards. Patients wouldn't put on their alarm clocks every four hours to call for pain meds, they would try Tylenol and comfort methods instead.
Family members would appreciate the work put in by the staff, and patients always treat the nurses with kindness and respect. Nurses would reciprocate the mutuality, caring and treating all diseases and illnesses.
Little boys and girls, adults and elderly patients would all comply with the medical treatments and follow up outpatient with their primary physicians, there would be really no reason for a 30-day readmission.
In this kingdom far far away, all nursing students would graduate. Veteran nurses would welcome students and new nurses, teaching them kindly the tricks of the trait. Nurses and ancillary staff always worked together smiling and laughing, treating the patients through their worst times, encouraging them to get better.
This hospital in this kingdom was indeed the best, but unfortunately some patients there were also laid to rest. The healthcare team did all they could, those that may have died was treated with the same dignity and respect as they should.
Charting on the patients was impeccable, even with no fear of lawsuits. Broken bones to broken hearts were admitted and treated, even trauma patients and chemo infusions.
Little boys and girls from the kingdom dreamt of growing up to become nurses and physicians; there was no sexism in any of their occupations. All specialty nurses got along, from the ER to the units, there was no reason to hate, no shades were thrown.
In this perfect hospital in this kingdom far far away, nurses and patients lived happily ever after... But as for me, I have to go answer this call light that's been ringing. My patient's blood pressure is low, and I can't find a functional blood pressure machine. Have two calls out to the physician but he's not returning, his patient is in pain and 10mg of Percocet is not helping. A family member just called, his mother wants the pan, its been 45 minutes, so she had to wet the bed. I've been called incompetent and stupid, just because I haven't had the time to remove your sutures.
This hospital in the kingdom far far away is indeed the best, but real life nursing is tough, and you probably won't ever have breakfast. My rhymes are ending and this little story has been stretched a little too long...
Just remember one thing, take the time to thank the nurses caring for your loved ones.
The Dude Nurse
Klaus Campos, BSN-RN