I arrived to work and found that my assignment had remained the same from the night before. I had four step down patients all post spinal or brain surgery. As I went to assess my patients I walked into the room of a burly Hispanic gentleman room. He had recently had extensive lumbar surgery but was thrashing in bed, sweating, grimacing, clearly something wasn’t right. He was in severe pain. I quickly treated the pain via IV and PO medication.
Within minutes he was calm and resting again. Later in the day he told me that he was so happy to see me first thing in the morning as I opened the door to see him. He went on to say that he was in terrible pain all night long and that his pain had not been treated all night. I reviewed his medication administration record to find that in fact he had not received any pain medication. He was not sure how to tell the nurse and she had not asked if he had pain. He was never assessed for pain throughout the night and was never offered alleviation from his severe pain.
Patients truly see nurses as their saviors when we walk into their rooms and offer our sincere concern and poor our hearts into our work to alleviate their suffering and bring the relief. This man will always remember the care I brought him and the difference in his night and his day.