Nurses - The Unsung Heroes - page 2

by tnbutterfly, RN Admin | 18,939 Views | 16 Comments

Once again it is National Nurses Day and the start of National Nurses Week, which always begins on May 6 and goes through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale. This is the week set aside to recognize the contributions... Read More


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    Here in Canada we have Nurses' WEEK. Our hospital has what they refer to as a nurses' appreciation tea, but it's open to anyone with an ID badge, so really... And it's punch and cookies, for an hour or two, on a day shift. The administration sent out a vaguely patronizing email thanking us for our excellent work, but included the caveat that they really shouldn't single out just nurses because we're all one big happy family so they've kind of morphed Nurses' Week into Let's Celebrate Everybody Who Works Here Week. Our manager brought doughnuts and muffins this morning for all the staff.

    Our union local usually has small gifts for each of us. One year they gave us personalized cutlery to carry in our lunch bags. They were so popular that the respiratory therapists took a bunch and there weren't enough for the nurses. As of this moment we haven't seen this year's offering.

    Personal thanks and little tokens mean more anyway. I have a shelf in my office at home where I put the thank you cards I've received over the years. One gift that really took me by surprise came from a mom that I had spent some time with. Her child had been admitted with bronchiolitis and had been pretty sick. The mom reminded me a lot of one of my daughters, the one who catastrophizes everything. When she started ramping up I found myself talking to her in the same way I would talk to DD. A little tough Mom act that worked miracles! Just before her boy was ready for discharge from the PICU she came to me to unburden herself because she was quite worried about him. He had been difficult to sedate while on the ventilator and now he wasn't waking up. He'd had a CT head that was normal and she was terrified that he had some life-long brain injury that didn't show on the scan. I thought about it for a few minutes, then did a chart review. This little half-Asian baby had been given 480 mg/kg of chloral hydrate over the preceding 4 days and was essentially drunk - chloral hydrate is metabolized on first pass to ethyl alcohol, then further metabolized by alcohol dehydrogenase. Asians and Inuit have a relative deficiency of this enzyme and should only be given small doses at wide intervals. When I explained all of this to her and reassured her that he'd wake up sooner or later and be just fine, she nearly wept. The next day he was transferred to the peds ward and I was on the night shift. I came in and there, at the desk was a package with my name on it. This mom had gone out and bought me a travel mug that she'd had his photo printed on and a lovely message thanking me for taking such good care of them both. It sits on my shelf right next to the card.
    stevengarbs and twinkletoes53 like this.
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    I agree with you Janfrn. Those individual thank yous like the mug mean so much more than the cutlery, teas, etc. That mom put a lot of thought behind that gift.
    twinkletoes53 likes this.
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    I just received a beautiful and thoughtful homemade card from one of the Moms at the highschool I work at. It surprised me and brightened up my day simply because it was so unexpected. ( And the gift certificate to breakfast didn't hurt either) I Love Coffee!!! Sometimes as nurses we tend to forget how much we mean to some of our patient's families. I definitely can relate to those days when I'm questioning my career choice. I guess I have to keep reminding myself that I'm making a difference in people's lives everyday. Now 5 years into my nursing career I can understand why people always say it takes a Special person to do what I do. So to all the Wonderful Nurses, lpns,RNs, Cnas, hhas and anyone else doing patient care, You are not alone in your feelings so Keep up the good work!!!!!!
    twinkletoes53 likes this.
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    work in a school , nothing from the school. 1 student gave me a glass with a stuffed flower, candy, and a cute little poem. His grandma is a nurse and knows how hard we work.
    tnbutterfly likes this.
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    nice story! the unsung heroes
    tnbutterfly likes this.
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    I am retired from nursing now, but my love for it hasn't died. This year was the first time that our (new) Nurse Manager made Nurses' Week a special all-week-celebration for our NICU staff. From decorating the nursing lounge, to having potlucks, to ordering pizza for the staff, to having some nurses play dress-up, having posters,etc. It was a wonderful celebration that the staff nurses really appreciated.
    tnbutterfly likes this.
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    Very inspiring and moving story! Gratitude should be the attitude!
    tnbutterfly likes this.


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