Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Great Un-expectations

It was the end of my shift at the hospital.  I wasn't on my usual floor, and so was unfamiliar with most of the staff.  As I finished some charting, I happened to overhear a nursing assistant talking with another RN.  She was enthusiastically talking about her recent experiences in nursing school.

I had to chuckle when I heard her say, "My instructor says it's best to see all of your patients within the first 10 minutes of getting report on them.  You introduce yourself and see what their top 2 concerns are.  Then you tell them you'll be back later to do a head-to-toe assessment.  That's how I'll do it someday as a nurse."  I remembered an instructor giving me practically the same advice 5 years ago.

The other RN patiently listened to this, and with a smile said, "Yes, that would be a good plan for a perfect shift.  Unfortunately, you don't run in to those too often.  You've got to plan for the unexpected and be able to improvise.  Take the shift I came in to one day.  I had a patient just being admitted, another being discharged, and a few minutes in to my shift, another one coded.  Those are the days you just do the best you can."  The nursing assistant-future nurse considered this, and said, "Well I guess I'll learn along the way."   

I'm glad I 'happened' to overhear that conversation; it really got me thinking.  How many times: at our job, as a wife or mother... do we plan for perfection, but are unprepared to handle the unexpected?  Life is anything but perfect.  Life is anything but what we expect.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope... -Romans 5:3-4 

Lord, You know what I need.  You know what I can handle, and what will help me grow.  It may not be what I want, or think I need.  It may be uncomfortable.  All I ask, is for Your light to follow through the darkness.  Guide me on the right path, so I can do the best I can.  Help me learn from You along my way.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. -Proverbs 3:5-6

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“Kind words can be short and easy to speak,
but their echoes are truly endless.”

~ Mother Teresa