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At Her Mercy

I was having trouble breathing as I lay on that gurney in the chaotic ED. Was it a result of my fear? Or did I have an unseen pulmonary injury?

I had been in a car accident. I was in pain, and the cause of my pain was obvious. My neck hurt, my tibia poked through ...

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In the Hand of Dad

I suppose we are expected to welcome challenges in the neonatal ICU and, for the most part, we do, but when I heard that a 27-week preemie with multiple deformities was on the way, all I thought was, "Jeez, I could do without this." We were just reaching the hardest and longest stretch of the night shift when the call came—it was going on 4 am—and because I had ...

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"I've been fired," Janet sobbed into the phone. "Fired for stealing narcotics!"

I was outraged. Janet and I had been inseparable since nursing school. I knew her as a woman whose drug of choice was sugar and as a professional who regularly spent her break time comforting frightened patients. How could anyone believe ...

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Nurse, Heal Thyself

I became a patient not by fate or genetics, but by choice. As a diabetes educator, I'm frequently asked to counsel patients having difficulty with the changes in lifestyle necessary to achieve blood glucose control. All too often the referring physician or nurse warns that the patient is "noncompliant." I've pondered the meaning of that word for the past three decades ...

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A Nurse's Mother's Nurses

They walk toward me in the cemetery in a little town in Wyoming where we have just buried my mother: Linda, Carol, and Beverly, my mother's nurses.

Mom's osteoporosis had shrunk her from her proud 5′4″ to barely 5′. Arthritis had turned her hands into claws. Chronic ...

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