Ahhhh, nursing school. Filled will all the little secrets the public would LOVE to know! Like, what does "b.i.d." on your prescription mean? And, what exactly are they listening for when they listen to your back? And, how can they possibly hear anything when they move the stethoscope so quickly? And, shouldn't the nurses care that your "normal" temperature is 97.5, and shouldn't they be more upset when you come in with 99.9 based on this knowledge?
The thing about nursing school that has been so exciting for me, is to be a part of the secret "club." To know what the heck they are talking about on Grey's Anatomy when Meredith yells, "She's cyanotic!" Or, "He's going into acidosis!" Yes. I know these things and way more things that I never dreamed would fit in my little itty-bitty teeny-tiny brain.
I also know the "code." Why yes, there is a code. And, I may be kicked out of the club for sharing some of this, but a very profound thing hit me this past semester while learning to communicate "therapeutically." (One thing I'm learning while writing this, is that I use "quotation marks" way too much. Good heavens, if I ever air-quote in your presence, please shake me.) But, the other thing - is learning how to talk to patients therapeutically. In other words, why nurses just look at you funny and nod when you ask certain things. You see, there are positive and negative methods that are to be learned when talking to patients. A positive example is to give eye contact. Or, use open-ended questions. Negative examples include blocking, or evading questions. Or, as I'd like to talk to you about, "giving false hope." (There go the quotation marks again.)
False hope. I briefly let that marinate during class one day, and then my ADD kicked in and I was on to other things like, say, lunch. Or, Downton Abbey. Or, the piece of fuzz on Jesse's shoulder I couldn't reach in order to correct the situation. Still driving me crazy I couldn't get it.
This Sunday at church, the false hope topic reemerged and wouldn't go away. The sermon series is called "A Thrill of Hope." (I actually think that was an appropriate use of quotation marks.) It really hit me. A lot of stuff hit me. Like, Kim, you dummy! What have you fretted over this past year and a half? God brought you here, He will take you where He wants you to serve Him after school is over! And, then I thought, Wow. Hope. What must it be like for those patients I come in contact with, who do not have that thrill of hope?
See, I was raised with that thrill of hope. I am not afraid of the "end." (Again - quotes.) Although I will mourn what my death will mean for those I leave behind, I ACHE for the touch of Jesus. For His sweet eyes lighting up as I run into eternity with Him. ACHE with everything in my core. My assurance is TRUE. BLESS-ED. How incredibly hard it is for me to not want to share that assurance with my patients who are about to face death themselves!
How do nurses who are in Christ navigate these waters? As a Christian, it is my number one job to tell every single person about the HOPE I have. As a nurse, we are taught explicitly not to give FALSE HOPE. What on earth do I do? Nothing. Nothing on earth at least. As with everything, I guess I should trust God to navigate these waters for me. Praying in each situation that He will give me the words to share the Gospel with those who will accept.
Praise God for the hope that springs eternal! Praise God for TRUE assurance!