Oh, Friday afternoon it was, and I waited with impatience for that clock to strike five pm. As that blessed minute hand reached twelve and the workday ended, so too ended my responsibility to answer calls and pages, to attend to further requests. With the tentacles of need being cut and the encumbrance of accountability relaxed, the stethoscope was stowed in the bag, the notes were filed, the charts returned to their proper place, and the report submitted to the nurse whose job it will be to answer urgent calls all weekend. It is certainly a satisfying gauntlet to pass!
While they may float through my mind over the next few days, I can rest in the fact that I have done my best and they can fend for themselves. The one with the abscessed injection site, the poorly controlled hypertensive, the woman who can't urinate, the other who's been vomiting---they have access to a phone, to an ER, to their own powers of self-care. I relax my grip, unwind the wound up brain, put the nurse-mind to sleep (or at least temporary suspended animation).
Now is the time for focus on the self, my own needs, my own desires, the needed rest of body and soul. A deep breath from which to drink deeply.