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March 2012, Volume 42 Number 3 , p 48 - 49


  • Jocelyn Cerrudo Sese MSN, RN, CEN


IN EVERY ED, there are two true constants. One is that patients come and go, no matter what the weather, in the dead of night and most certainly during change of shift when the ED is in gridlock. Another is that despite all the frustration and high-intensity stress, we, as nurses, care.Mr. G was one of our most frequent visitors. With a long history of alcoholism, he showed up at our hospital every day, delivered by the emergency medical technicians or staggering in on his own, asking to be taken to the ED.Mr. G was part of our daily lives. We showered him, lectured him, fed him, and discharged him before he went into withdrawal.The ED social worker tried to place him in a local shelter, but he rarely stayed long. Sometimes he'd be admitted to the hospital for management of his withdrawal symptoms, in part to give him time to heal, but also to reassure ourselves that we were doing our best for him. In our naivete and optimism, we hoped that someday Mr. G would hit rock bottom and reverse

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