Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

The Bees and Me: An Unexpected Reminder of Why We Need More and Better Prepared Nurses

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

The Bees and Me: An Unexpected Reminder of Why We Need More and Better Prepared Nurses

Article excerpt

OK, THEY WEREN'T REALLY BEES, but yellow jackets. All my nurse and physician colleagues who have listened to this story in the past two weeks know all of the intricate details. I was a little late with my spring cleaning, but I had resolved to make the environment better in my corner of the world. While my cleaning lady was tackling the inside of the house, I decided to rid the patio of a crumbled up indoor-outdoor carpet.

Without much imagination, you can fill in the details of the story. I disturbed the nest of dozens of yellow jackets. More than 30 of them retaliated and disturbed me. So, even though I am not allergic, the dash of toxins was more than my system could handle. I found myself fighting to breathe.

I quickly ascertained that my cleaning lady knew CPR and her way to the nearby esteemed medical center emergency room. What I was not prepared for was being mistaken for another patient in the process of admission and treatment.

Two parts of this experience concerned me at the time. First, no one tried to explain what had happened, or apologized for the mistaken identity. Second, there were nurses involved! And I am not even an anonymous patient! To my relief, in spite of the oxygen I was under and the adrenaline that had been injected, I was conscious enough to know that I was not the other patient. I was, however, personally and professionally shocked that this disaster could happen. All of the recent reading that I had done about nursing shortages, medical errors, changes in health care workforce preparation - etc. …

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