Nursing Voices

Monday, February 18, 2008

"Would You Believe...?"

Do you remember Maxwell Smart from the 1960’s hit television show, Get Smart? Every week Maxwell and his partner, Agent 99, would fight evildoers working for KAOS. Maxwell had a habit of making up stories, and he would start out by using the catch phrase, “Would you believe?”

There are a lot of things that you would never believe about the health care system, even if I could tell you the whole truth. I’m going to let you in on a little secret about my blog. There are some days when I feel like a huge liar. I’m not making stories up, really, this stuff happens, but I’m lying to you by omission. There are two main reasons why I must filter my stories. The biggest reason is HIPAA, that annoying law that keeps all health care bloggers from telling the whole truth about what goes on behind closed doors. The other reason involves credibility. A sane individual would never believe what really goes on inside of a hospital. The events defy rational thought.

You may be asking yourself, “Gee, Mother Jones, what’s up? Why are you feeling so glum?” My weekend didn’t start out well. I found a subpoena in my mailbox at work. No, I'm not being sued. I witnessed a crime on my unit. Remembering the cautionary tale of Dr. Flea, I will not go into details about the case, but let’s just say that my life is going to turn into poo within the next few weeks. I’ll also be avoiding certain parts of town, and I won’t be going out in public. And then there was the news that I received last night at the end of our shift. One of my former patients committed suicide. He was a kid, a sweet child who told everyone about how his crack head parents were abusing him at home. Again, the details of this case defy rational thought, and I can’t say anything else because of legalities. He said he would kill himself someday. Some things are just too heartbreaking to believe.

Goodbye, Sweetheart. You’re safe now. I hope you find peace with the angels.


Blogger rlbates said...

Hang in there Mother Jones. Life is tough, but there are good things/times. So sorry about the loss of the young patient.

Love the "shoe phone"--that makes me smile.

1:46 PM  
Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

Tried, and failed, to think of anything useful or helpful to say.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is no one wants to hear the truth about what is going on in the hospitals from administrators right on down to management. Don't you get the feeling that no one cares any more? What has happened to our profession is so sad. It wasn't always like that. Keep your chin up.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Cliffie said...

I have never before used the word "poignant." I wasn't even sure how to spell it. That's what your writing is, in the best possible sense of the word. Find a publisher and give a parting thumbing of the nose to the screwed up medical profession.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Smalltown RN said...

Oh Mother Jones....I hear one would really ever believe some of the things we see...and the loss of another life...what does it take....

12:39 PM  
Blogger Ken Wedding said...


Wish we could have your back, but all we can offer are our thoughts.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I usually call it the health-we-don't-care system.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Mage And George said...

I'm so very sorry.
I believe.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Doreen Orion said...

So sorry you're going through all this. It truly sucks. All of it. Each of us in the profession have either been there or very much imagine we will one day.

11:00 PM  
Blogger EDNurseasauras said...


1:03 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

I'm sorry you are getting dragged through the legal system. You probably can't say, but "Why didn't the law take the kid away from his abusive parents?"

Oh, guess what?! I get assigned my first patient tomorrow! It's in long term care, so I hope this first one isn't severely demented.

1:32 AM  
Blogger may said...

the sad part about being affected by what happens to our patients is that sometimes, you feel like your job sucks. i mean the heartaches, it gets draining sometimes.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

Seconding scott--where the hell were child protective services? It seems like the majority (not to say all) of child/adolescent psych cases are also abuse/neglect cases, somewhere somehow...and, speaking from experience, when your parents who are supposed to care for you don't, and the other people society tells you are supposed to step in and act in loco parentis just DON''s positively crushing, a double betrayal.

It's so...whatever to say, "It'll be ok," because trying to use words to address what's beyond words almost seems like an insult. I'll be holding you in the Light, as the Quakers say.

2:19 PM  
Blogger MY OWN WOMAN... said...

The general public has no idea how much we take home at night. They look at us as "cold and callous" because we have a job to do first, and we feel afterwards. I'm sorry for what you are feeling. Sometimes situations can really get to you. I'm sure you know....survival is right around the corner with the next kind word.

8:29 PM  

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