Thank You On Behalf Of The General Public
I would just like to thank the nurses who attended to my son, myself and the rest of my extended family in 2009, and by extension to every nurse around the world who similarly attended to suspected broken feet and legs (myself and my son), gall stones (mother-in-law) and to the bizarre occasion when my son managed to get his foot jammed into the side of an escalator at the local amusement park.
I would like to use this article as the voice of the people in thanking you all for the professionalism that you show us in our times of need. Usually we are so relieved that our loved ones are O.K. that we simply forget to voice our appreciation at the job you just performed for us, so on behalf of everyone who didn’t I will say it again. Thank you. Countless times you have made physically and emotionally stressful situations for us tolerable through your professionalism, your smiles and kind words, and in my own experience with my son, some apple juice, an x-ray and a band-aid.
Although I am not a nurse, part of my new job is to understand how nurses think and feel about their jobs within the whole nursing spectrum, and eventually how to communicate with them. This year within my job I will be out on the road talking to a few of you (oncology nurses beware!!) and truthfully, I am thinking what a privilege this will be. Although this task is work related, for me the benefits will personal. My life takes on greater meaning by reading your stories, both positive and negative. I smile at the funny stories, feel sad at the horrible ones but overall I feel empathy and get understanding, which ultimately makes me a better person, husband and father. I can’t wait for these road trips to begin.
This year, being the father of two special needs boys- ‘The Hurricanes’- I will for sure be coming to meet some of you in an emergency situation. In the heat of whatever situation this takes, and because I have read your stories, the following is what I will be thinking when you see us. Hopefully when you have finished reading this, when the patient/s you have just treated leave your care without thanking you for your service you gave them, you can think back to when you read this article because maybe this can serve as a thank you to all nurses in all situations.
By the time we get to see you, you are probably going to be at the end of a long shift. You might have been sworn at by an irate and in pain patient earlier in the night. You may have had your sound judgement undermined by a patient’s relative (or worse still, by a slack colleague you are forced to cover for). Someone you have been caring for might have not made it through your shift. You have probably already been bled on, spat on and had to have cleaned up vomit and vomit from the other end. And due to the universal hospital budget cuts, you and the three other nurses on your shift (not counting the one you are covering for) have probably been doing the work of ten.
So, by the time we get to see you, the first thing I am going to say is , ‘thank you for being able to see us so quickly.’ Even though we may have been waiting for a few hours, rest assured that at least one person out there in the general community understands that patients are seen to on a priority bases, and our time spent waiting is an indication of the workload you have been working under during your shift. Hopefully you see in my body language that I mean this, and this causes you to smile.
Sometimes a smile is better tonic than the actual medicine you will prescribe, and I know this from the experiences I had when Hurricane One got his foot jammed in the escalator. He thought that it was the magic box of apple juice, but I think that it was the empathetic smile coming from the fatigued nurse that was enough to get him to calm down for his foot x-ray.
When we leave, I am going to shake your hand, look you in the eye and simple say, ‘thank you for the service you just gave me and my family.’ I hope you understand that these are not just words coming out of my mouth but is a message coming from my heart. Truly. I also hope that when you look into my eyes as I say this you see that it is an extension of everybody you have attended to on your shift; that it is in some small way an acknowledgement from all of us who you have seen, whether they thanked you or not. You are doing an invaluable job often under great stress and pressure, and I as a member of the general public would just like to say thank you on behalf of us all.
Keep up your good works in 2010.Last edit by Joe V on Jan 13, '10 : Reason: formatting
Jan 4, '10Thank you! Now take some note cards and write every nurses that took care of you and your a personal note...which we never see...we sure see the complaints and are told YOU CAN DO BETTER!! I had a patient yesterday that I would have loved to have called someone on, even with his mom at bedside, he was rude, obnoxious, smart talking, demanding, tattooed everywhere, complained about the free food..told his mom "I can't eat this S.." "go get me pizza"..which she did..he called and said "I have fever bring me an aspirin"...When I was taking his temp..which we must do to document that 101...he snapped I could have told you!!...err I gave him his Tylenol..and politely said "now, you might sweat in about an hour..don't worry that is a good thing". ...he snapped back "Lady, you ain't telling me nothing I'm already doing that"...I bit my tongue and walked out..feeling sorry for his life..and the patients he took care of in the nursing home where he said he was a care tech...oh poor grandmothers!! Sir, I thank you for your post..but wish you would take the time to thank the nursing that actually had the job. (wish you were my patient!!) choc chip cookies sent to the floor ...puts smiles on the entire motley crew...many, many 12 hour shifts we don't get a break or snack...even though management says "Its your own fault"..but I feel so obligated to take good care of my patients..I press on...okay, long story..hugs for your family, congrats on your job!! sounds wonderful!! Smile on my face.Jan 15, '10I am moved by the fact that someone who is not a nurse would go to the trouble to enroll and post in a nursing forum just to praise those of us in the profession. Thank you as well. It is people like you who make it worth it for us to continue to do what we do.Jan 18, '10Thank you for those words. Over the last two weeks I have received thank you notes from the families of dying patients. They thought that we were all wonderful and thanked us for our caring and kindness. On Christmas eve one of the orthopedic surgeons brought us in a home made chocolate cheescake (he makes them himself) with a card thanking us for all we do and for putting up with him. These things are wonderful and I thank everyone for any kindness shown to those of us who spend the most time with the patients.
But yet, daily I still have to deal with the doctor who walks to the patient's door, looks in, does not say anything, does not touch the patient, does not talk to the nurse and writes an entire page of orders based on his "exam" of the patient. I then, as the charge nurse have to call him and TELL him about his patient and why we cannot do ANY of his orders because the patient cannot swallow and is too confused to know what is going on. I do this multiple times a day on my med surg floor because I cannot seem to get some of the physicians to understand that caring for patients is a PARTNERSHIP and I am spending more time with them than you are. I try to make suggestions to the ortho surgeon regarding pain control for one of his patients but he will NEVER listen to the nurse. He will only change the order after the pain consult doctor sees the patient and writes orders for the same thing I told him yesterday.
The disparity between physicians and nurses is a big problem in hospitals. And even though hospitals have policies in place where nurses can make a complaint, nothing ever happens. I pull their wagons out of the ditch every day when I find orders that are incomplete or meds with the wrong dose or pt is allergic to the med. But if I did not, it would be the nurse, not the doctor, who gets in trouble if something gets done according to the order when the order was wrong in the first place. In general, we are the check and balance system for the physicians. I wonder how it would be for them if all of a sudden all the nurses just went away.Jan 18, '10wow!! that was so very kind of you to take the time to say thank you. it's soooo very nice to hear!Jan 18, '10That was precious! Thank you for the thank you!! You are so right, we don't hear it often enough.Feb 20, '10Diane227,
Within the past year, I was required to take the NCLEX RN because I had been out of nursing for over five years. I first took the state boards in 1974. I passed in 75 questions.
In preparing for the exam, I was surprised at the emphasis on pharmacology. We were always supposed to understand why, what, dose, side effects, etc. But it seemed from the review materials that we should understand the meds and prescribing the same level as the physicians.
With this much responsibility, and since we are the first line of defense for errors made by doctors, why do nurses earn so much less than physicians? Is it because traditionally, men were doctors and women were nurses?
I really appreciate that this person appreciates nurses. But don't let that warm, fuzzy feeling keep you from looking out for yourself and your family.Feb 21, '10I am currently anxiously awaiting my nursing school decision letter, and this post reaffirms why I want to be a nurse! What a great story!Feb 27, '10You just made up for the loonies I have had to work with in the past few years.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
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