Thursday, April 11, 2013

I'm A Nurse



"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.
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***Don't forget about this link up next Tuesday

37 comments:

  1. i love nurses. i am in such awe of them. this post was incredible. and becky? thank you.
    <3

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  2. Agreed, when I had heart surgery the nurses that I had in ICU, everyone of them, even the crabby old one, were great and helpful. I was so scared and they were so gentle and there for me!!!

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  3. I couldn't agree more or could have said it more beautifully. We as nurses do so much because we want to, not because we have to. Thanks for putting all of my feelings into such graceful words! I'll share this at work today with my fellow nurses!!

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  4. Thank you for everything you do!! :)

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  5. We as nurses are equally as blessed by our patients and their families! I thank them at the end of my shift (even when I'm leaving late) for allowing me to care for them.
    Your words are beautiful, Becky, just perfect! Thank you!

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  6. Did you pick my brain today?!?! I literally was so exhausted so sick yesterday. I have been here at cancer center all week. Yesterday was bad, today worse. Just so sick from the meds etc. I buy my special nurses gifts etc. I know how much they do for me. The other day when I almost ended up in surgery my fav nurse she stayed over her shift she called the surgeons and asked if she could try one more thing to break up the crystalazaion in my port so I could go home to my girl! She stayed with me while her daughter was at home trying to get me well enough to go home and she did! Yesterday when I was throwing up she held my hair. She took pictures with me being goofy to make me smile! I have some very special nurses who have also become friends dear friends and hold a special place in my heart! I have seen these nurses hold there pee so they can treat the critical skip lunch go past shift get yelled at by not nice patients and still smile and treat them as if they were their family memeber! Believe me I want to be well more than anything in this world I am one who knows what nurses do how hard they work how above and beyond thy go read my fb this morning a post I did for one if my nurses a thank you just as I am thanking you for all you do I know you do it with your whole heart because my friend you are awesome like that!

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  7. LOVE this post! I know mean people who are/were nurses. I am going to go to nursing school in about a year and this makes me excited for the work I will be doing.

    Thank you for sharing this post :)

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  8. My dad was the alcoholic who abandoned everything for his addiction. I was on the plane to get to him but he died before I landed. I hope he had a nurse with a heart like yours there with him as he took his final breath. You are amazing Becky and I'm sure you bless so many in your line of work:)

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  9. I have so much respect for nurses especially after my son was born and spent a week in the NICU. Those nurses who took care of him as well as me and my husband were angels on Earth. Our son was in there during New Year's Eve and we went down to be with him at midnight and as we were ringing in the New Year there was a nurse checking his stats, changing him and taking care of him while everyone else was celebrating without even a second thought beyond our son. We couldn't have been more grateful to them and when he was released we sent flowers to the NICU staff to thank them.

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  10. so many little decisions or minor changes we notice that maybe the doctor didn't, but we see it and the outcome will impact that person's life. sometimes it's the little things. that's what gets me.

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  11. Thank you! For being such a great nurse. I am grateful for all nurses do!

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  12. Thanks you for being a hardworking nurse. Nurses dont get enought "thank you's"!

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  13. Both my grandma's were nurses and my mom has been a nurse for 27 years. I have great respect for everything Nurses do. Thank you!!

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  14. WOW!! I have been left speechless after reading this incredible post. I have a newfound respect and admiration and compassion for all nurses. You so easily forget how amazing and important they all are...

    I have been lucky to have been blessed with angelic nurses along my medical path - the lovely ladies that held my hand and washed my body when I thought that bacterial meningitis would take my life, the extra squeeze and hug when my grandfather passed away in my arms, and the big smiles when helping breastfeed my first little princess.

    A huge part of our lives - here on earth and when we pass. I salute you Nurse Becky.
    x

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  15. Thank you for posting this. I'm a nurse too, and we get so caught up in the day to day tasks sometimes we forget how important we really are. THANK YOU!

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  16. Thank YOU!! Thank YOU!! I come from a family full of nurses...my mom & two of my sisters!! Also, as a Physician Assistant, I don't know what I'd do without my nurses!! They are invaluable to the medical support staff!! Invaluable.

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  17. I love this. I'm a brand new nurse & I only hope I have touched people's lives like this.

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  18. Well said Becky. As nurses we go to work leaving behind moments with our family to care for others in their time of need. Sometimes you have patient's that are wonderful and easy to care for. Other times they are difficult and crabby. Through it all though we go to extreme lengths to care for them, make them better and help them to accomplish their goals. I expect no great trophies or awards but it's amazing what a simple thank you from a patient and/or family can do. There are days I question my choice to ever become a nurse. And then there are days when I couldn't imagine not doing what we do. It's a blessing to be able to make a difference in people's lives and be there for them in their time of need. From one nurse to another. Thank you for all that you do!

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  19. This is perfect! So well put. Currently right now I am an agency nurse. Every time someone asks me what I do and I say nurse, their follow up question is "Oh what hospital do you work at?" A lot of people don't understand how many different places and capacities we work.

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  20. This is a great post! When our twins were in the NICU for 4 weeks, it was the nurses that helped us through it. I became close friends with a few and still talk to them to this day. They taught us so much and made the scary situation much easier :)

    Kathryn

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  21. From one nurse to another, THANK YOU!! I am returning to my job from maternity leave next week & I needed this reminded of just how important & influential we are.

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  22. You seem like an amazing nurse! Your patients are lucky to have you by their side.

    I recently gave birth to my first son and it was a nurse that taught me how to breastfeed. I was frustrated and in tears and she stayed with me until I got it. I will never forget her calmness and her patience. That same nurse took me son to the nursery after knowing I hadn't slept in 48 hours. She told me I needed sleep.

    Nurses are the unsung heroes. You can really tell the ones that care about you and your family. I'll never forget the nurse that was there for me when I needed her most!

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  23. This made me cry. My dad has been in the hospital 3 times over the last month and a half. Is there right now waiting to see if the liver they have will be his new liver.
    The nurses have been amazing through every stay! Doing everything you wrote and more!! We know them by name and thank them daily!! My mom even thanked one the other day based on her care for my dads roommate.
    When I get around to writing te post I have running through my head, I'm going to link to this.
    Thank you for what you do!

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  24. Becky,

    I have been a long reader of your blog but never commented but this post you have written today had me compelled to do so.

    My eldest daughter who is now 5 years suffers from a severe form of epilepsy and has spent alot of time in hospitals, this can range from 2 days to weeks. It is there that i met God's truest Angel's in the form of nurses. They showed me compassion, reassured me when things got so bad that i was unsure of what to do, they took the time to hold my daughter's hand, to call her sweetie or princess just so that she wouldn't feel frightened. They went above and beyond the call of duty.


    Sorry for the long ramble but thank you Becky and all the nurses everywhere for your amazing spirit and beautiful souls.



    Best wishes to you and your beautiful family

    Regards

    Asha (ashak1984@hotmail.com)

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  25. This is so amazing, thank you to all nurses, and big thank you goes to you!

    xx
    Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

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  26. Amen amen and amen. I'm an Oncology nurse and have been in more than one situation that has completely changed my life. Those moments- those life and death moments, they never leave you.

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  27. Amen amen and amen. I'm an Oncology nurse and have been in more than one situation that has completely changed my life. Those moments- those life and death moments, they never leave you.

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  28. I fell in love with my L&D nurse when my daughter was born. She was everything I needed her to be while going through the birth. I made sure that the hospital knew how happy I was with her & the entire experience, as well as thanking her as much as I could. I wanted to make sure she knew how much I appreciated her and how fantastic she is at her job. Nurses just don't get the recognition they deserve!

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  29. I teared up for so many reasons reading this! So beautifully written Becky, thank you.

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  30. I too am a nurse & I would love to repost this... I am glad we are appreciated for the effort & time we put in!

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  31. from one nurse to another, Thank you Becky for this post! I teared up reading this. It's my life in a nutshell. It couldn't have been written any other way. :)

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  32. I love this!!! Ever since my aunt passed, I have an even greater respect for nurses, especially those in ICU. Just like I mentioned in that email a while back.... THANK YOU!!!
    Thoses nurses mean so much to my family for all they tried to do!

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  33. I was on bed rest at Community North in Indy from May 2010 to August 2010 while I was pregnant with our daughter. I had about 70 different nurses over the course of my "extended vacation" but I became friends with many of them. Words can't even explain how much I appreciate the nursing profession! When most people would be super excited about leaving the hospital, the weird thing was the part of me that was honestly sad to be leaving! It had become our home for months and we had a little family there...nurses that would stop to check in even when I wasn't their patient that day! Thankfully Facebook has allowed me to keep up with my new friends and be joyful for prayers that were answered for a few who were trying to get pregnant while I was their patient who now have beautiful babes of ther own! Seriously, thank you for what you do as a nurse!

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  34. I was on bed rest at Community North in Indy from May 2010 to August 2010 while I was pregnant with our daughter. I had about 70 different nurses over the course of my "extended vacation" but I became friends with many of them. Words can't even explain how much I appreciate the nursing profession! When most people would be super excited about leaving the hospital, the weird thing was the part of me that was honestly sad to be leaving! It had become our home for months and we had a little family there...nurses that would stop to check in even when I wasn't their patient that day! Thankfully Facebook has allowed me to keep up with my new friends and be joyful for prayers that were answered for a few who were trying to get pregnant while I was their patient who now have beautiful babes of ther own! Seriously, thank you for what you do as a nurse!

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  35. Nurses do not get thanked enough! I always make a point to let the Labor & Delivery nurses know just how much they're appreciate. They are the ones doing all the work!!! Same goes for the nurses at my OB office!

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  36. I love being a nurse....made the big decision to go from 14 years in the ER to Hospice nursing. The last 6 years have been rewarding and heartbreaking. Wouldn't change a thing. Thanks for this post.

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