We had nurse practitioners (NPs) across the country submit a story from their professional experience that celebrates their career. Here is one of the winning stories:
During a routine working day at the clinic, an elderly gentleman presented to have a geriatric assessment and have his memory tested. During the exam, the patient was asked a series of questions using the Geriatric Depression Scale. At the end of answering the questions he began to cry. He went on to tell me about his time in the Korean War. He entered the war at 16 years old, and saw his uncle shot right in front of him.
Tears fell as he explained to me that the memories of that day continuously haunt him, and the only way he can deal with them is to keep busy. Although, a little uncomfortable with the situation, I quietly sat by him and listened. When he stopped, he told me he has been living with this for over 60 years. I thanked him for sharing that information with me, and I apologized that no one had previously recognized his continued grief and probable PTSD. I told him I did not feel he had memory issues at that point, but he needed help to deal with his grief and PTSD. I was able to start him on an antidepressant and encouraged him to seek counseling. He was deferred back to his primary care for further care, as he was also scheduled to have surgery for a possible cancer. As he left that day, he gave me a hug and thanked me for listening. I told him it was an honor and thanked him for sharing his story.
“As he left that day, he gave me a hug and thanked me for listening.”
About two months later, I found myself wondering how he was faring. By coincidence, he showed up at the clinic that day with a big smile on his face. He told me how much better he was doing since our meeting. He had gone through his surgery well, and he no longer spent entire days reliving the moment his uncle died. The expression on his face was priceless, and he had a spring in his step. Needless to say, this patient touched my heart in many ways. I felt blessed to have met this Veteran.
Do you have a special experience that made you proud of your profession? Share this badge to let all your Facebook friends know you are Proud To Be An NP!