One of the biggest boosts I got came at perhaps the lowest ebb in my nursing career. I'd been doing agency work, covering several different hospitals. I got nailed twice for med. errors that were not my fault, but I was held responsible because I didn't notice them in time (in the one case, someone else hung 2/3 and 1/3 to run with blood, and I didn't notice until after I'd run in a second unit! It was my first time giving blood in this hospital, and I was so concerned about doing the paperwork right on the blood, that I never thought to check what was hanging with it.) Anyway, my agency suspended me from giving medications, effectively demoting me to Health Care Aid status. I was given a one-on-one assignment with a vented patient in ICU. It was a really sad case. She'd worked as a nurse until age 65, then contracted ALS almost immediately upon retirement. The disease progressed rapidly, and about all she was able to do at this point was move the fingers on one hand enough to work her call bell, if you adjusted it just so. My job was seeing to her personal care and feeding, plus calling for the RT or a nurse if she needed suctioning. Due to the vent, it took two people to even turn her safely, which is why the ICU needed the extra help.
She was a wonderful Christian lady, and had either a deacon or a priest come and pray with her every morning. Enetering her room was like going into a chapel. I told her my story, and she really felt for me, and did everything she could to encourage me. I was with her when I got the phone call saying that I'd been hired for a community nursing job, which is what I'd always wanted! "See," she said, "I been praying for you, and I just knew the Lord had something better in store for you!"
The lady in the next bed was a retired nun, and when my pt. was receiving communion, I saw her crossing herself, and praying. I asked the deacon if he could pray for her too, and he did so. Unfortunately, the lady had just come off a vent, and was still very confused, and thought I was another nurse whom she disliked. She was very cold towards me for the rest of her stay, though her daughter was aware of my efforts to help her and be kind to her. Later, when she was in stepdown, which was on the same floor, she made a point of seeking me out and apologizing to me, and thanking me for what I'd done. I was so touched, I had to fight back the tears.