A snake-bite colon punctures the end of the song.

In musical notation, this is called a repeat sign. It directs the musician to return to the beginning of the phrase or section and play it through again. To repeat it over.

But it is never a true repeat, because you can never play the same piece of music twice. Although the musician returns over notation that is exactly the same, the flow and form of the music is always moving onward. Really, there are no repetitions.

As nurses we must always be careful of repeats. 
It is easy to fall into the trap of treating patients that return over and over with similar symptoms as exactly the same each presentation. Or to treat a particular condition or diagnoses as repeating itself identically amongst different patients. 
To do so is to risk missing the onward flow and form within our patients individual lives.

Our nursing work calls for endless repetition. Drawing blood. Giving medications. Taking ECG’s. Writing notes. Day after day. Year after year. We think we know what we are doing. Going back over the same section again and again.
But really, you can never take blood from the same patient twice.

It is very important we stay on the notes as they sound. Aware of the guiding directions of the greater notation, we temper the instruments of our knowledge and skills to attend to the patients condition.
But always, staying on the sound, staying with the sound, listening closely as it unfolds.

2 Responses to “the illusion of repeats.”

  1. Outstanding – could we get this up in the department for all to ponder upon (flight deck, triage?!) ?

  2. Once again, you are a master, Miller. Luv ur stuff.

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