Typical ER Day

We never know what the next “T-R-I-A-G-E” or “Ring – Ring” of the back door will bring.  But there is one thing that you can count on as an ER nurse at Riverside Tappahannock Hospital… another “rewarding day in the life of a nurse.”

Every day I come to work I feel grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the nurturing and healing process.  Whether it is as simple as redressing a wound or as difficult as being there for family members as they find out that a loved one has passed away, nursing is always rewarding.

On many days, I feel like the care, service, and commitment that I offer is not appreciated by those in need.  But it’s the little things that make each day rewarding.

            It is going home to my family and having one of my children say, “Hey, Mom, you took care of my friend today, and he said you were really nice and that he feels better now.”  Or when I go to Wal-Mart where a half-dozen people whom I have cared for in the past are shopping, and they offer a friendly smile or stop to chat about how they or their family members are doing now.

I will never forget the ninety-two year old woman we admitted to the hospital with congestive heart failure.  She had a history of severe arthritis as well but that did not stop her from coming back after her discharge to pay me a visit and bring me an angel, hand-made by those same arthritic hands, with a lovely card of thanks.

I could really be having a chaotic day when rescue squads arrive back-to-back, patient after patient with chest pain, or the intense situation of a new mom in labor.  I am thinking, “Why do I do this to myself?!?”  Then I reflect on the pat on the back from one of our finest ER physicians saying, “You do great work,” or the tears that stream down my face as I watch that new baby coming into the world.  I can only revel in the happiness of the new parents as they hold their bundle of joy.

I guess the most rewarding aspect in my days as a nurse would be the love and respect that I share with my co-workers.  I have an amazing sense of pride for each of them.  Although we come from varied backgrounds and possess certain qualities of our own, we are always able to persevere and deal with any issue that faces us throughout our nursing journey. 

We work as a team toward a common goal – patient care and satisfaction.  But it is not just our working relationship that I admire.  It is the fact that we are involved in each other’s lives.  We are a family!

Patricia Schonasky, RN

Emergency Department, Riverside Tappahannock Hospital


Click here to view story in book.