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What I’m Looking For

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Today I had the unfortunate distinction of repeatedly making my patient more uncomfortable.  Other than the fact that the guy is 90, he has another reason to be in pain—a broken bone.  On top of that, he is also constantly cold and despises having the covers pulled back. (He usually has eight blankets on him.)  During my 6 hours as his nurse, he was moved from the ED stretcher to his bed, then on a stretcher to X-ray where he had to sit for a film and was then put back in his bed.  About 15 minutes later he had to be moved back to the stretcher again to go for another test, and then put back to bed again.  He is mostly immobile.  This means that every time we transferred him we had to pull him from the stretcher to the bed and then roll him back and forth to remove the excess linens and pull sheet.  Then his heels had to be floated, a pillow put under one hip, the condom cath repositioned, and his heart monitor put back on.  All this motion had him flustered, uncomfortable, and in pain.  Finally, the last time we were repositioning him, moving the sheet, reattaching things, he sighed and said, “You know, if you just told me what it is you’re looking for in the sheets, I’ll gladly tell you where it is!”

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