As I approached the door, I sighed heavily and entered hesitantly. I can’t recall the exact number of times I went inside that room during my first overnight shifts as a new nurse, but I could’ve sworn I noticed an imprint of my sneakers forming in the floor. Throughout that night, this patient had an affinity for asking for random items like a juice or a pen, but this time seemed different . Having gotten sick while visiting from out of town for business, he didn’t have many visitors over the past few days. He was a talkative man, equipped with high energy, countless trivial facts, and a love for conversation with the staff. He also loved his career, but between the constant travel, his middle age, and an unhealthy diet, he found himself on the other side of a stethoscope often.
When I walked into his room, I quickly noticed that he didn’t look like the man that I have come to know throughout the shift. He appeared to be two shades paler and covered in sweat. With a melancholy tone, he confessed, “I don’t feel too good”. I could see his thoughts swirling around and worry settle on his brow, so I sprang into action. Just as I suspected, his vital signs, CT scan, and physical assessment all indicated that he was experiencing a cerebrovascular accident– or in other words, a stroke.
“I see your call light is on…how can I help you?” started as a mild inquiry with low expectations, but ended as a memory that I will never forget. Thankfully, this man’s tale had a happy ending, but how many others didn’t? I can’t begin to tell you how many people fall victim to poor health due to lack of resources, health literacy, courage to speak up, or event support from others. To me, the call light symbolizes many things– opportunity, reassurance, and even growth. Ensuring that clients receive quality of care (resonate), a voice to be heard (advocate), and access to comprehensible resources (education) are some of my most important goals as a nurse. Therefore, this blog was created to be a platform to address our well-being, in all its forms– mental, physical, and social, so we can all be an answer to someone’s call light.
Thank you for taking this journey with me. Let’s get started…