Ketamine: A Nurse’s Perspective
What is Ketamine?
That was my initial question when I first started working at a ketamine infusion clinic. I had no idea the kind of impact it would have on me as a person and as a RN. I have seen individuals at their absolute lowest, coming into the clinic hopeless and even suicidal. To them they have tried everything…every medication, treatment, therapy, etc. I have had the honor and pleasure of witnessing the growth, healing, and transformation of so many patients.
Ketamine has been around for decades but recently it has emerged as something of a miracle drug for patients with severe depression that does not improve with standard treatment. When given in low doses as an infusion over 45-60 minutes, it can provide rapid relief of suicidal thoughts and improve depression. Other treatments for depression including medications can take several weeks to months to see any effects.
Being able to see the transformations in patients first hand is so rewarding. I am privileged to witness patients leave our clinic after their 6 initial infusions and they are a completely different person (for the better). From not being able to get out of bed or take care of themselves to now getting dressed up and wanting to go out and socialize with friends. There are times I don’t even recognize the person from when I first met them. I will get individuals who I can barely get a word out of, let alone a smile or laugh, but towards the end they are cracking jokes and interacting with me. Ketamine truly is a miracle drug and has changed and saved so many lives. I am so glad I have been a part of it.–A.S. RN
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