What Makes a Hero Nurse?

  1. Hi, I was watching CNN this morning and they were asking for submissions for Heroic Nurses so I began to wonder what everyone considered the criteria for heroism in nursing to be. Anyone want to help me out with this one?
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    About rashana

    Joined: Jun '10; Posts: 38; Likes: 68
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  3. by   anonymurse
    I've met and spoken with several military heroes, including MoH winners and the heroes portrayed in Blackhawk Down, and what they have in common is they don't think of themselves as heroes, at least not the way CNN thinks of heroes. From their POV, that kind of heroism is all about spin.

    So from my POV, a heroic nurse is one who works on her critical thinking, job knowledge, team building, compassion, initiative, communication skills and so on. To me that nurse is heroic and someone I'll observe and learn from, whether or not circumstance favors her with exceptional drama and exposure.

    Daniel was a hero before he took the field against Goliath, back when he faced off with a lion with no one to see, and, we may presume, even before that. We all have such heroes, or pre-heroes, if you insist, on our floors. I don't know about you, but I'm out to watch them in action and pick their brains before they get famous.
    Last edit by anonymurse on Jul 3, '10
  4. by   rashana
    Exactly, my feeling. I was hoping that heroes or heroines would be defined by the compassion and endurance that it takes to combat one's own fears and reassure others when they're sick or dying. A more "feminine aspect" (not to say men don't have it) than the sacrifice that includes that one dramatic act. Yet I wonder if that's how society views it, and I wonder how we can help change that. Caretaking and nurturance are undervalued skills. So is the observation and knowledge it takes to know when just listening and holding a hand is the most important thing in the world to help someone want to keep fighting to stay alive or surrender peacefully into death. Heroism for me is a much more subtle, constant thing.
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    That's not heroism IMHO. That's just doing our job.
  6. by   BrnEyedGirl
    I can't imagine anything I do at work being heroic. When I think of a Hero, I think of those in the military, police officers,.anyone who makes a huge sacrifice/risk to help others,...I work in an ER and do what I was trained to do,..in the air conditioning,.paid vacations,..and I'm almost never in fear of my life or even great injury. I have a t shirt that on the front says "Save one life and you're a Hero" on the back,.."Save a thousand and you're an NURSE" Not a Hero,..just doing my job.
  7. by   Overland1
    There are "heroes" and "heroines" among nurses in most places and they do some great stuff each and every day. They administer medications only after being that final check point, making certain the med is correct for that patient. They work long hours and often stay late to console the family of a patient who is going to die (or who has died). They further their own education and skills, not because of a possible pay raise, but because they truly care about, and want the best for, their patients and families. They sometimes put up with unruly patients, families, and doctors while continuing to the the best they can for the patient.

    The heroes and heroines among us simply do the right thing, with competence and consistency. I doubt CNN cares to hear about those nurses.
  8. by   Harleyhead
    I agree with cardiac RN. Police or military are the true Heroes.
  9. by   rashana
    I feel any position can be a calling or a job. Firemen and policemen also have paid vacation and airconditioning. Nurses also risk their life constantly, exposing themselves to infectious diseases, violent patients, and constant over work and stress. I think heroism is a "mindset" rather than a job description and until we begin to value the sacrifices we make, no one else will.
  10. by   rebelgirl#1
    Memphis a little while ago: Game warden ran his own vehicle into two people that had allready killed two cops and were now firing at another cop car.

    He was so calm. Just knew he had to help.

    The nurse who came in with coffee for my mom at 0400. The nurse who inspired me to be nurse, 40 years ago. Just because she used an oral thermometer(sp). The little things that mean so little to other and still are remembered by the patient. Because I also remember the little bad things. So to those who do the little things all the time.

    Thank You.
  11. by   ok2bme
    Unfortunately, I think society has really diluted the term "hero". If a nurse ran into a burning hospital to rescue pts, I would consider that heroic.
  12. by   rashana
    I don't agree that heroism is only a one time impulsive act of sacrifice. By definition a hero has courage, is responsible for outstanding achievements, and identified with good qualities and sometimes is considered to have semi divine origins. But mostly, the word hero has been relegated to men and so the what we have is an idealized idea of a hero. I believe caring, endurance, and nurturing those who are the most vulnerable, and helping others makes a nurse a hero. I mean unless she has a lousy attitude! Then she or he is just a pain in the butt.