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  • Your Reaction Matters

    I’ve always thought this meme was so funny! I love all nursing memes, but I especially relate to this one as we’ve all had those emergency calls that we try to make sound low key to keep the patient from perpetuating the condition.

    On my unit the other day, we heard the alarms on our monitor screen only to look up to see real v-tach with a patient’s heart rate at 210s-220s. For the medically less-inclined, this is very bad, so following this was the immediate run to the patient’s room to check a pulse and symptoms.

    To nurses who can relate—it was that moment when the monitor is not just reading artifact. It is real vtach!

    Upon the rush in, thankfully the patient had a pulse with no pain or symptoms. It was still pertinent that we get the patient out of the arrhythmia; however, it could have been a lot worse.

    That being said, I will never forget the patient’s confused look back at us all running in with concerned looks.

    The poor patient had no clue what was going on, but became frightful because of our emergent faces. No symptoms except for now a rush of anxiety.

    That is why I always remind myself: as a nurse, my reaction matters. 

    With patients, we aim to create a rapport with patients. We aim for our patients to trust us.

    With this trust comes the trust in whatever reaction is presented.

    An acutely ill patient needs a glimpse of hope, a glimpse of light, and a message to hold on to. If the nurse presents an anxious message in body language, that is what they hold on to.

    Your reaction matters. 

    As I’ve said, not only is being a nurse teaching me lessons with patients (and patience!), but these messages carry over into life.

    In life, your reaction matters. 

    In all things, the way we respond is important.

    Sometimes life will get us down, but it does not have to bring us down as a person.

    When times are getting hard, when an emergency happens, when things are frustrating — your reaction matters.

    Do not let it completely derail you — rather face it and handle the situation. 

    I do this by reminding myself to rely on the Lord’s promises. He promises us in Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken” (Psalm 55:22). While I may feel my strength failing, the Lord is strong and will sustain us through the anxious moments that threaten to derail us.

    The Lord promises to deliver us, and this creates a strong foundation that allows for a calm, efficient reaction to any emergency with a patient or unfortunate event. 

    I also always pray before work, which you can read about here. This helps me in those emergent situations.

    The Lord is the strongest when we feel the weakest if we just turn to Him. Your reaction matters including who is turned to in the midst of the hard times.

    Here is to all the nurses and to everyone—that we may react appropriately even when times may be difficult.

    Love always,

    Katie Girl




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