Thursday, January 24, 2013
How we read
I came from working at the hospital this morning. I "read" a lot of different things there. I read orders from physicians, patients' charts, medication labels, etc. I also read things like the body language of my intubated patient (people who are intubated can't talk). I read the face of my patient with aphasia. Aphasia means she could talk, and she knew what she was trying to say, but when she spoke the words didn't make any sense. She relied on me to read her face and body language to determine if she was comfortable, in pain, thirsty, etc because she could not verbally express these things. I read the change in the environment of day shift vs. night shift, mostly based on the difference in noise level and the presence and absence of bodies. I read lab results, and determined the course of action needed based on them. I started 3 IVs during my shift, so I read the patients' arms and the map of their blood vessels to pick the best vein. When I got home I read the tired dark circles on my face in the mirror. I read the number of the bus I took to come here. Right now I'm reading my own body and it's telling me how tired I am.