Another World of Nursing

A Human with a cap that says "Nurse". Out and about in a world where that nursing cap is challenged by lack of resources, and most of all by the limitation to save. When a nurse lacks the means to save, does that redefine their role? Does that make them less of a nurse? What kind of nursing hat can they wear, when the one to save is left back at home in another world of healthcare?


A human with a cap says nurse.

They are traveling across the world to do just that.

A nurse saves lives: Whether in the now, in the future, or to salvage damage of the past.

A nurse uses tools of knowledge, thinking, physical care and the emotional connection, to save that life, whichever, place in time it may be.

So what have you, when that nurse with the cap has no tools with which to exercise that lifesaving skill?

What have you when that nurse wants to change a dressing, but has nothing but unfolded gauze and peroxide?

What have you when that human with a cap saying nurse, sees a child stop breathing, and their pulse slowing in pace, but no means with which to resuscitate?

What have you when that human lifts a 15 teen year old, dying of AIDs to a hole in the floor called a bathroom and cleans him off as his family stands by staring on with disgust?

What have you when that human with a cap saying nurse:

Carries a malnourished women into sunlight for the first time in weeks.

Holds a crying, orphaned, sick baby when his father is too intoxicated to care.

Teaches a newer nurse to stand up and advocate for her septic patient.

Recruits a fellow nurse to carry a 100+ pound oxygen tank to provide respiratory support a dying patient, only to watch them take their last breath just as the oxygen is placed on their face?

When a nurse draws up anti seizure medications for a child seizing just as she is about to leave for a long day and there is no other provider is in site?

When a group nurses deliver a 28 week baby and spend 1.5 hours resuscitating it, only to find that it survived long enough to be held by its mother for one night?

When a baby is born with its abdominal organs outside their body, and the closest hospital to deal with this issue is miles and dollars away, and so a foley bag and tape is used to temporarily protect these fragile organs?

When a good day for that nurse is when there is only one death?

When that nurse wants to teach a student how to count pediatric respiration's, and they count untill there are no more breats to be counted, to child's last breath?

When a nurse encounters more death in two weeks than they have encountered in their entire 5 years of practice?

When a stroke patient is fed lying down and the nurse runs from across the room to reposition, educate family, and advocate for an NG tube?

When a nurse uses a glove as a tourniquet, as a glove, and as an ostomy bag because the latter supplies do not exist?

When a nurse has no personal protective equipment, but still teaches and treats patients with TB, HIV, meningitis and other contagious diseases?

When a nurse watches a heart stop, but cannot perform CPR because post resuscitative care does not exist there?

When a nurse brings their own sanitizer to work because the hospital has none?

When one nurse has 40+ patients under their care?

When a nurse gets told by a patient's family "thank you for trying", after they brought an unconscious patient back after noting a low glucose level, Injecting glucose, educating the family on care, and only to find the patient suddenly dead, a day later.

When a nurse must advocate for a patient with hemoglobin level of 2.8 to get at least a pint of blood, a day after those levels were measured?

When that nurse with the cap is on vacation, working a across the world, on a another continent?

When that nurse with the cap that says nurse, has learned a thing or two while global trotting across the world?

What do you have when that global trotting nurse, with a cap that says nurse, returns to their day job after this nursing experience?

What have you when they come back to a world where a nurse has the means to save a life?

You have a nurse with an appreciation for life, and for the ability to save a life.

You have a nurse who realizes that sometimes the power of caring is all a nurse may have, in order to attempt to put life into a human being.

You have a nurse with newfound zest and ambition to provide the best care with the means they have available to provide it.

You have a global trotting nurse, parched with thirst to trot to another part of the world and to accept the challenge of life saving wherever that may be.

What you have is a nurse with a new rhythm for the care they perform.

What you have is a nurse with a cap that says nurse, but that word in their cap, now means something so much more.

That human with a cap that says nurse.

Devorah Goldberg, MSN, RN, NP, is an Emergency Room nurse in NYC . Ms. Goldberg just graduated from the Adult- Geriatric Nurse Practitioner program at Hunter-Bellevue College of Nursing and received her baccalaureate degree in nursing from Adelphi University in 2013. Devorah has a passion for global health care, and has been blogging about some of her nursing adventures since she began her career in 2013.

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