Cancer Hospital Discomfort: A Nurses Personal Perspective

I’ve been working in hospitals for over 16 years, and I’ve seen a lot of people who can’t stand them-or won’t even go into one. I never used to understand it. Didn’t people realize we were there to help?

Now I’m sitting in the waiting room of a hospital next to my spouse, a cancer patient, and guess what…I don’t like it. Not the fact that I’m the spouse and he has cancer, but the fact that we don’t like this and we don’t want to be here. We are lost and overlooked in a sea of strangers, and I know each person has a story. But now it’s personal-it’s happening to us, again, and it’s our story.

It’s different when you work in a hospital, because you are familiar with the staff, the layout, the inner workings. Being a visitor in a new hospital where you’re lost, and a bit uneasy with what the doctor is going to tell us-is out of my comfort zone, and I like being in my comfort zone.

We’ve waited a few months for this day. My husband is tracking down our car and finding new parking because of course we parked in the wrong area, and my knee is still too buggered up to run there and back to do it for him-so I sit here feeling helpless and guilty, and I wonder if I’ll be able to find it on my own one of these days, because this is just the first visit of many.

It’s ironic… I should be so much more comfortable than I am, but I’m not, at all. Maybe one day after we’ve been here enough times and get to know enough people I will be. But I hope it doesn’t get too familiar, or be one day more than it has to be. I will say that I am grateful for the kind staff at OSU, and the wonderful nurses that we met, and I am greatly impressed at the ability of ALL of the staff to show great kindness to us today, and we have a good doctor. That is a wonderful thing to be able to say. This is a good place that is saving lives, and I’m grateful for that. I just don’t want us to be regulars here, but who does?

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I’m a wife, a mother of 4, a grandmother to 5, and a RN. My husband and youngest daughter Katey and I love to garden, visit yard sales and flea markets, and are greenhouse junkies. I also have a passion for reading and writing, which has been my most effective therapy.