Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Will One Step Forward and Two Steps Back Eventually Get You There?

You don't always see how far you've come until you turn around and look behind you.  Today I had a critically ill patient that rapidly required a central line, intubation, 2 pressers and massive iv fluid resuscitation in just two short hours.  After stabilizing the patient and sending her off to CT scan I met with her family in the waiting room to explain the critical nature of the woman's illness, her prognosis, and how much we could hope for a recovery.     

It was only after the event that I was able to assimilate what had happened, what my part had been.  During the crisis, I was reacting and making decisions based on years of training and experience.  Each decision came almost as a reflex, directly related to the changing situation.

I remember when I was just a new nurse, working on an orthopedic floor, and the first time I had an asymptomatic patient with an elevated blood pressure.  I panicked and my first reaction was to call the doctor.  Another, more seasoned nurse, suggested looking to see if there was already something ordered and sure enough, verapamil was ordered prn (as needed).  Calming down and thinking about the problem saved me a call to an irate doctor.

Fast forward 11 years and I am working in a fast-paced emergency department, facing life-threatening complications on a regular basis, as a nurse practitioner.  How strange the ways of our Lord!  If someone had told me eleven years ago that I would have the knowledge and confidence to perform this task, I never would have believed them!  Even five years ago, I still would have felt unsure...God has perfect timing.

I think I can take away from this reflection that God knows exactly what He is doing... and why He has asked me to wait for a family.  His way is not my way, but it is the best way.  Looking backwards at the growth He has brought me personally just from experiences within my career, I can trust that my heart and future are going to develop exactly when and how He wants.

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