"A Nurse." What does it mean when we say that.
"I'm a nurse."
A nurse. One where her shift is described as 7pm-730am under job title. However, it is one that doesn't gaurantee a "clock out" time. One where more time required is a practical thing. Hours extended are no surprise. It's just not your 9-5 gig.
A nurse that walks into a room and is hearing the story that your mom, dad, brother, sister, daughter, or son, may be telling her. Sometimes spoken through the mouth. Sometimes through their eyes.
A nurse that is expected to notice when a patient goes from bad to worse. Where minutes are crucial. Seconds are essential. And skills and intervention are immediate.
A nurse that may step into a room and not come out for 12 hours. Never skipping a beat. Working hard to do everything that we possibly can. Even forgetting to meet our own personal needs.
A nurse that brings everyone together; doctors, respiratory therapists, and family to come up with a plan. A solution. A way to get you home. Whether that be physically or spiritually.
A nurse that puts feelings and judgments aside in order to help provide the best care possible in all areas and situations. Even when it involves a murderer or child molester.
A nurse that will send you home after you've been by your husband's side for 3+ months.One that will tell you that you need a shower, you need a break, and you need some rest.
A nurse that will not only cry with you, but laugh with you. Hold your hand. Comfort you.
A nurse that will stand in front of your family members arguing while your brother is fighting for his life. Not the time. Not the place. A nurse that isn't afraid to be the bad guy.
A nurse that advocates for her patients. Tells the doctor he will not leave this room while your mom has a heart rate in the 180s, breathing in the 40's, and in need of life support. Demanding action right away, even when it's "time to go home."
A nurse that cuts your teenage daughter's hair, and makes handprints of her delicate hands so that you may have something to cherish after she passes.
A nurse that holds the alcoholic's hand. The one that has been abandoned by his family and friends. No one there as he takes his last breath. Everyone needs someone by their side as they leave this world. Everyone.
A nurse that while your family member is kicking, scratching, and spitting due to their delirium, is still fighting to keep them alive.
A nurse that has to leave her kids and husband at home on Christmas so that your family member is taken care of while you eat Christmas dinner.
A nurse that goes home and squeezes her family extra tight, realizing how precious life is. And to never take our loved ones for granted.
A nurse. A name that has so many meanings. So many titles. So many expectations, roles, and duties.
What does "a nurse" mean to you?
I can tell you this. With 100% gaurantee. At some point, a nurse will touch your life or the life of a loved one. You may not be there to see it. You may not hear about it. You may not know all the details. But I'm telling you this, because of a nurse a life will be saved.
I see it all around me. Nurses that save lives time and time again. Nurses that fight for their patients every second of their shift. Nurses that advocate and don't give up.
Those "nurses" ... they aren't incompetent, worthless, or just there to wipe your loved ones bottom, clean the snot out of their nose, and fluff their pillow every two hours. Oh yes, we do that as well. They aren't there just to do that. Although some people have that notion that that's what nurses actually do. Those nurses... those nurses are the reason your loved one is alive or will be alive in the future.
And if your loved one passes, those nurses are the ones that hold their hand one last time.
To me, every nurse is a hero. I won't sit here and say that every nurse is the best at what they do. That every nurse loves what he/she does. That every nurse is as compassionate and caring as the next.
It's not possible to find the perfect nurse. One that everyone expects out of this person as soon as they walk into the room. One that will answer the call light as fast as you'd like. One that will have the textbook answer that you are looking for. Or one that will always know right away what to do.
But trust me when I say this, every nurse at some point in her/his career will save a life based on a decision that they made. And when you think about it that way... ask yourself... what if that life was yours or your loved one?
Know a nurse? Tell him or her THANK YOU for what he or she does.
***Don't forget about this link up next Tuesday