Collusion (Niki coaches a parent on talking to doctors)

Chapter 13 The next night I returned to the PICU, and found that the eleven year-old transferred to the regular pediatric unit on schedule. As predicted, Dr. Eubanks not only discontinued the Fentanyl infusion before the transfer, but the puny IV morphine pushes too. It was out of my hands now. Or so I thought. Later […]

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A Happy Shift (Niki explains PICU pain management)

Chapter 12 My next shift, I take report on a child admitted following surgery earlier that afternoon. The medical plan is for her to spend the night, and then transfer to the regular pediatric unit in the morning. The surgery was successful, and the patient will make a complete recovery. “I’m concerned that the surgeon […]

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Beer for Breakfast (The night shift goes out for breakfast)

Chapter 11 Fortunately, the next two shifts are uneventful, which actually feels weird after a traumatic shift like the last one. There’s not enough time in between to process what happens to our patients, and the role nurses play. Every so often, someone in hospital administration suggests holding “debriefing” meetings for the nurses after a […]

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For Whom the Phone Rings (Niki does ‘wine by phone’)

Chapter 10 After working a night shift, my soundest sleep occurs between 10 am and noon. At 11 am the ringing of our landline phone wakes me. Drowsily, I pick up thinking it could be the school calling about Maddie. What if she’s sick, or hurt? But I forgot, the school only has Simon’s and […]

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