This morning I answered a thread to a new nurse who had chosen to go into the OR and was receiving a little flak from her nurse friends because they felt it wasn't real nursing. I got to thinking about it and all the different nursing positions I have encountered before becoming a nurse and after becoming a nurse. We celebrate the vast opportunities for diversity in employment in nursing yet we at the same time denegrate those who don't choose the paths in nursing we chose and some belittle others.
These are the nurses who I've known in my life:
The school nurse, who patched my knees, checked for broken arms and sent me home when I was sick, and the school nurse who did the same thing for my son 32 years later.
The ER nurse, who took care of my grandparents, my parents, me, my brothers, my husband, and my son each time we had a mishap and ended up in the ER scared and hurt.
The labor nurses, who coached me through 3 shifts and 31 hours of labor, never once getting ruffled over my unhappy and aggitated state, they seemed to smile the whole time, at that moment I didn't understand because the labor was so rough, but I was thankful for each one after it was all over.
The delivery room nurses, who assisted my doctor in the difficult birth of my son and so carefully placed him in my arms when it was finally over.
The nursery nurses, who fell in love with my little bundle, used him to demonstrate diapering and bathing to the other new mothers and who never missed a chance to tell me how beautiful my baby boy was.
The pedi nurse, who checked out my new baby, gave him his shots and answered my frantic calls as a new mom with such calm and patience.
The holding room nurses, who started my IV's and prepped me for various surgeries over my life time all with such gentle care, wish I could start an IV like that.
The OR nurses, who helped with my surgery, made sure to wash off all the betatdine paint so my skin wouldn't be sore and wrap me in warm blankets before they sent me to-
The PACU nurses, who monitored me, gave me pain medicine and talked me awake after my surgeries.
The floor nurses, who took care of me after my surgery, always answering my calls, getting me up to the bathroom, helping me bathe and eat.
The ICU nurses, who took care of my dad during his worst and final heartattack and held my mom in their arms when he died.
The industrial nurse, who took care of my husband after a 14,000 pound counterweight crushed his fingers in a factory, who called the hospital a head of time and had the ED waiting for him when he arrived.
The rehab nurses, who worked with my mom after she broke her hip, they went to extrordinary lengths to take care of her, get her to eat, kept her hair pretty, and made her get out of bed when she didn't want to.
The LTC nurses who took care of my mom everyday the last two years of her life, the warm baths they gave, the Christmas decorations they made, the homemade pie they brought her.
The Hospice nurses, who looked over mom in the last days and supported me and my brothers as we made the tough decisions to let her go in peace.
The education nurses who scared me to death in nursing school
, made my life miserable as a student and gave me palpitations but ultimately did it all for my benefit and helped me become the best nurse I could be.
The staff development nurses at my hospital who gave me classes, taught me the real side of nursing and made sure they were there for me for every question and problem I had as a new nurse.
I'm sure I've missed some other nurses I've known in my life. All I can say is that I'm glad that someone wanted to do those jobs and usually did them with a smile.
The next time you feel a little disdain for someone who has chosen a different path in nursing than the one you chose, think back to all the nurses you've known and who have taken care of you and yours over a lifetime.....
And thank the Lord for each and everyone of them.