Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Defense Mechanisms

Sorry it's been a while.  You know how it is with finals and all.  

So I’ve posted some “#BeingAnERNurse means” and it got me thinking about ER nursing.  One of the things that came with working in a smaller community is that there is a better than average chance that I’ll know my patients, their families, or will see them out and about.  This can be a double edged sword. 
Every time that ambulance rolled through the doors, there’s a piece of me that wondered if it was someone I love.  I heard a story of a nurse working in an ER like mine and the ambulance rolled in with a severe trauma… It was her husband.  She literally went catatonic and woke up several weeks later in the hospital. 
With this fear comes the point of my blog post tonight, defense mechanisms.  One of the defense mechanisms that I have (and I only know this cause I can willing admit it) is that I don’t look at faces, unless the injury is specific to the face.  I know this sounds weird until I explain it. Hell, then it might still be weird.  If I don’t look at the face then I don’t know whether I know that person (yes, I know you literal people will say look at the name and to you I say shut up, LOL… Actually, traumas come in John Doe so it doesn’t help anyone).  I have literally taken care of people for 2 hours and when they get admitted to the hospital I realize that I know and recognize them.
This does make for two strange situations though: 
  1. I’ve had people come up to me in Wal-Mart and say “Thanks for taking care of my husband so well”  and I look at the them and how no idea who they are.  But if they tell me what room they were in and a little about the case, I can tell them exactly what we ordered, the diagnosis, and the disposition… Strange I know
  2.  I have a hard time recognizing faces outside of work.  I see people and think.. shit I know them from some place but I can’t pinpoint where.  It usually takes me seeing the person 5-6 times consistently before I can remember their face.

Again I have this defense mechanism in place to protect myself from the inevitability that I will probably work on someone that I know and love. 
So do you have any defense mechanisms in place? 

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