It’s the end of her shift and Nurse Smith is trying to decide which client she should see first. The elderly woman on bed one may need more pain medication, but could also be sleeping peacefully. Bed two has a terminal cancer patient with their family waiting outside the room, and bed three has an elderly man who requires close monitoring due to his recent surgery.
What should she do?
She finally decides that it would be best if she saw bed three first so he can get back into his routine as soon as possible. Nurse Smith approaches the bedside of Mr. Johnson and smiles politely at him. “Good morning, how are you feeling today?” she asks cheerfully as a way to gauge his mood for the day.
When he doesn’t answer her question or smile back, Nurse Smith realizes that this is going to be one difficult shift on the cancer ward. “I don’t feel so well,” says Mr. Johnson with an emotional voice full of despair but also anger in his eyes as he stares down at his hospital gown-covered legs where both had been amputated from above the knee due to complications from prostate cancer. “Isn’t there anything else we can do? I’m not ready for this!” Mr. Johnson’s family members.