Panama City News-Herald from Panama City, Florida on June 30, 1974 · Page 77
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Panama City News-Herald from Panama City, Florida · Page 77

Panama City, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 30, 1974
Page 77
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Angel and "Robot" Continued Care Section with the monitors, the super-efficiency and the impersonality of a voice coming out of a loudspeaker to ask, "Can I help you?" Plus the uncertainty of wondering whether help is really on the way while they patiently wait their turn-and wonder if their damaged heart will be just as patient. Special nurses come high-$5 an hour for an RN and $4 or more an hour for an LPN. That's considerably less than you'd pay a plumber or an electrician, of course, but you still can't help thinking it's a lot to pay a woman to feed you, handle your bedpan, rub your back-and nap when you do. But is that kindly special nurse really an extravagance? Probably not. If she were, so many repeat heart-attack victims wouldn't plead for relief from intensive care, and not just because of 4 months agolwasagray, plump mother of 3. NowPm a trim, brunette college freshman. I'm still a mother of 3. Bui I'm a whole lot more. And nobody's happier about it than Jim and the children! I guess it all happened because I saw my "babies'* growing up so fast, needing me less and less. If they missed a meal my whole day would seem shot. And 1 knew 1 had to do more with the next decade of my life than sit around counting my birthdays and gray hairs, making my children feel guilty for leading their own lives! I think the whole thing got going the day I got the courage to color my hair. I'd always been a little afraid of haircolor, but I'd heard that Loving Care* lotion was a very different proposition. And it is! It's not a permanent dye or a (xrroxide thing. It doesn't change your own color. It just rinses away the gray. And looks really natural— with soft natural highlights. Well, it was so exciting to get my own brunette color back it gave me the encouragement for once to really stick to my diet. And now here 1 am-starting college! Of course, I only go part time. But it's a start. But that's what's so great.To see, at this point in my life, so many things ahead.To feel, in so many ways, I've only just begun! S1974 Uairul Incorporated \bu're not getting older. \bifre getting better! the price. With hospital rooms at $80 or more a day, and special nurses at $40 for eight hours, the total adds up to about $200 per day, the average cost, of intensive-care treatment in coronary units throughout the country. What makes the non-electronic special so special is the reassurance she gives to the heart patient-who is wondering whether every pulsebeat may not be the last or if the agonizing stab of pain from a blocked coronary artery may drill a hole in his breastbone. Sometimes, too, a patient reverts to the childhood need for assurance that Mother's there and is going to make everything okay, not with a kiss, but • with a hypodermic he doesn't have to wait for-which at a time like that is a lot better. So perhaps those psychology courses -those nursing-school classes called "Patients as Exemplars of Man Responding to Assaults," or "The Impact of a Changing Physical and Biological Environment .Upon Man"-are really worthwhile. But only if the psychologically oriented nurse (perhaps we should say the patient-oriented nurse) can be "Can today's nun* be an angal of marcy for tba pattern's sake, while atNl performing the duties of Robot, RN? Probably not- unless she's Supemurse." freed from many of the routine chores of running a ward, keeping the computer in the front office happy and the drug room operating at a profit, satisfying the hospital employees' union, and the host of other burdens that plague her day. But since Supemurse so rarely appears, perhaps two very special staff nurses should be on every hospital ward: one who doesn't particularly like understanding patients but loves cathode-ray tubes, PDA's, VIDA's and the like; the other, somebody who simply believes that a feeling for people and their problems in both illness and health is more important than being able to read an electrocardiogram. Is it asking too much then for the BS degree in nursing to prepare both kinds of nurses-or perhaps occasionally one nurse-for both duties? And since degree-granting nursing schools arc definitely the wave of the future, why not let the RN with a BS degree take a few more months of special training, just as she does to become an intensive-care specialist, in order to make her a patient-emotional-statc specialist? It might cost more. But then so does a special nurse. And if your heart stops, she might not know exactly how to start it in time, the way rmm Robot, RN, does. Elll • • FAMILY WEEKLY, June 30,1974

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