Thursday, September 15, 2011

Good News

The best part of my day, hands down, was getting to tell a patient that her CT scan was clear, and that no further cancer had appeared in her abdomen.

As a nurse in the emergency department I often saw the test results before the physicians did. Many patients would ask me directly what the results were but I always had to defer and say that the doctor would be in to speak to them shortly. It was one of the things about nursing that irked me on a regular basis.

Today the chart landed in my hands and I called a bubbly woman in to the office. I asked what her referral was regarding and she informed me that it was for the results of her recent CT scan. She had a history of cancer in her abdomen and as I flipped through the chart trying to find Diagnostics I said a silent prayer hoping things would be normal. Found the report and read it out to her...everything was normal. As I read I could see in my peripheral vision her shoulders relax slightly from a hunch, and heard a breath escape with the movement. The relief on her face was a delight to me.

So much of our practice deals with pathology and telling people bad news that these moments of relief and reassurance, are a treat. I am grateful that I was able to start my career of telling people results with some good news.


4 comments:

Grumpy, M.D. said...

"Your scan looked fine... Oh wait, that's the wrong chart. Hang on."

Sarah Sue said...

That's wonderful! : ) I'm glad for both you and the patient too : D

Solitary Diner said...

I wish I'd never seen Dr. Grumpy's comment in real life (shudder in memory). Glad that the scan today was a good one and belonged to the correct patient.

Cara said...

I hear ya on the results thing. I had the sweetest old lady whose cancer result came back on her BIRTHDAY. I had to look at that thing in the chart all day long. I was off shift before the doctor came back, then off for a few days so I never had to look her in the eyes again. It was such a sad day for me, but you do what you do.