I am not a fan of being on this side of the lab coat. I am uncomfortable without my stethoscope, blood pressure cuff and fancy name tag. This side of the lab coat doesn't feel natural to me.
Being The Nurse feels natural to me. I'm good at that. The Nurse is the one on the outside of the situation (supposedly), the one with some semblance of control over a few variables.
I am great at being The Nurse! Managing the care of others. Education and advocating for my patients. That feels natural, that is what is comfortable for me.
Unfortunately, today I am not The Nurse...today, I am on the other side of the lab coat. Today, I am The Patient's Family Member.
I am not good at being "The Patient's Family Member". Plain and simple.
Specifically, I am not good at being told what I can and cannot do. I do not enjoy letting someone else have control.
I have a hard time asking for something as simple a blanket or a glass of water when I know where they are and *could*, *technically* just go get it myself. Also, I am not a fan of having to go all the way to the end of hall to use the bathroom (although I do understand the "why" behind that rule).
Having to switch roles in such a drastic way sends me way off kilter. It's disorienting and confusing. Logic tells me that I can't expect all my Loved One's caregivers to know that I am a nurse, that I KNOW this stuff. Simple because, they don't know me. But...I get irritated when someone new comes in & begins to speak to me like I am a small child with learning disabilities. (Please, gawd, I pray I have NEVER spoken to anyone in that tone while caring for them). I tend to lose grip...and get snarky.
Snarky tends to become something more emotional - and the stress all comes crashing in - and I end up sitting with the previously mentioned blanket covering my face while I cry, softly, trying not to disturb my Loved One. He needs his rest, after all, he is the patient.
You know what? I really, truly do not enjoy being on this side of the lab coat! I will be grateful when everything is back to normal and I can be The Nurse again!