Thursday, May 8, 2014

To My Fellow Nurses

I have been sitting at my computer for over an hour now trying to think of what I want to say to my fellow nurses on "Nurses Week". It is hard to put into words just what a nurse does on a daily basis. If you were to shadow me on a day at work you would see that my day is very busy. From the minute I am done getting report my mind is already racing with the list of things I must accomplish. Giving medications, patient education, trips to CT scan and MRI, wound care and dressing changes, getting immobile patients out of bed, multidisciplinary rounds, assessments, charting, titrating IV medications to maintain hemodynamic stability, drawing labs, adjusting ventilator settings, monitoring vital signs, cleaning up every bodily fluid imaginable. We are the ones at the bedside 24/7. A bedside nurse is a very special person. We are there for the sickest patients in the most vulnerable state of being. We hold your hand, clean you up, hug your families, skip our breaks and our meals just to make sure you are stable and taken care of. We give up our holidays for our patients. We sacrifice time with our own families working nights, weekends, and overtime because we want to take care of people.

There have been many times that I wanted to quit nursing all together. Too many days I come home exhausted and spent. Physically hurting, emotionally drained and defeated by the system that often prevents me from connecting to the more "human" aspects of my job. I love the days that I get to spend a little extra time with my patients. Reassuring, helping, hand holding, healing, connecting. Those days are rare but the good nurses I know make every effort to fit that in when they can. The good nurses I know are the ones who are smart and work with integrity. They work tirelessly and selflessly for their patients. They teach and train newer nurses to be caring, thorough individuals who advocate for the patients even when it means you have to go head to head with the on call physician.

Nursing is anything but a glamorous job. It can be rewarding, it is rewarding but many times it is just hard. I am proud of what I do and I cannot imagine doing anything else. My job gives me meaning. I know that despite the lack of accolades we make a difference in the lives of those we treat and care for. To my fellow nurses, I hope this week you feel appreciated. I hope you stop and take the time to recognize all that you do on a daily basis. I hope someone hugs you and says "thank you" but if not I am saying it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. What you do is significant. What you do matters. What you do saves lives. For the people you touch, the families you support and the patients you heal, you deserve so much. For now I hope you hear me when I say thank you, you matter and please don't stop what you do. Your co-workers need you, your patients need you, their families need you and this world would be a lesser place without a nurse like you. 

1 comment :

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