As a nurse you see people at their worst and try to comfort and care for them, doing your best for a good outcome for someone you don't even know, often times doing things that many people could not do, you do it without even thinking you just react to your patient's needs, because that is what you are trained to do. You don't even expect a thank-you after doing a task, you do it because you want your patient to feel better although it is nice when you get one it's not expected. You often try to keep the mood light when doing an embarrassing task for someone and try to shield them from feeling embarrassed not because you have to, but because that's the way you would want to be treated if you were laying in that bed. Many times a nurse might just look at their job as just that a job, but to some of the patients you care for they look at a whole other way, you are the lifeline, support, compassion, teacher, in their time of need, many times when they have no one else to support them, YOU are there saying, What is wrong? HOW can I make you feel better?
As a nurse you need to be on your toes at all times someone's life depends on you, their condition can change instantly and you have to be ready to react, do you get upset that a patient condition changed? No. Many of you get a rush having to use your nursing skills on a whim to save someone's life, you train for it.
A nurse often takes it personal when a patient declines while under their care, they often reflect back, did I miss something? How can this be prevented from happening again, even if it is not something that could have been prevented, they do that because they care. A nurse often shows compassion to patients when they need it the most, often times when they don't have any, either because they don't have any family or when the family has no compassion for them, the nurse does, they are a stranger but compassion is compassion no matter who it comes from, all that matters to a person is that it is provided when it is needed and a nurse often provides this.
A nurse is also a teacher to a patient who needs help learning a new skill to help live their lives a bit better than before, they often get excited when the patient understands the new skill and do it on their own, they are happy that the patient can be more independent.
A nurse often talks about things most people would consider gross or inappropriate sometimes even forgetting and talking about it at the dinner table, but for a nurse that talk is normal for them, it is how they fix problems for the people that they care for, how they talk to each other as nurses so it is a hard habit to break. Nursing is a hard job, you have to be a jack of all trades master of many, you often have to change your personality based on the patient you are caring for at the moment, often holding back your own emotions about a patient that has touched you in some way so you can still provide great care, and so they don't have to be the one doing the consoling you. Your job has to be one of the hardest jobs in existence, but many of you do it so well, you do it well because you want your patient to be well so they can live on, while you move on and continue to care for the next person who comes in and wants the same.
You are the teacher, advocate, support, lifeline of the patient, so the next time you don your scrubs
before work remember you are more than just a nurse.