Happy Valentine's Day to All Nurses

Posted

I am a nurse--and darn proud of it!

I have a knowledge base that includes all kinds of things: how to get vile-tasting medications into a screaming, squirming infant; how to get a battered woman to admit her "fall" didn't "just happen;" how to put an IV into the arm of an uncooperative 5 (or 45) year old, or a catheter into a 70 year old man with major BPH; how to comfort a woman who has just agreed to remove her child from life support; how to unclog a G-tube, burp a colostomy bag, convince a physician that a test or treatment was his or her idea all along, and get a spitting-mad father to talk calmly about his feelings instead of punching the person who just called social services about his infant son's broken arm. I have been called every name in the book, laughed at, yelled at, threatened, insulted, and ordered around like a servant.

I have been kicked, slapped, pinched, scratched, bitten, and had my hair and clothes pulled. I have been spat, drooled, coughed, sneezed, peed, pooped, puked, and bled on. I have had food, personal care items, and--once--a grinning toddler's tracheostomy tube thrown at me. I have gone home with stains on my shoes and scrubs that I honestly couldn't identify. I have been at successful resuscitations--and unsuccessful ones. I have asked a convicted child rapist and murderer how he was feeling and genuinely cared about his answer.

I have advocated and fought for people who clearly couldn't stand me--and for whom the feeling was mutual. I remember like it was yesterday the newly-diagnosed diabetic 10 year old who ran into me at the mall, looked up at me with shining eyes, and told me I was her hero. And I remember the gratitude of my hospice patient's daughter when I called her in time to be with her mother when she passed away.

Ours is an honorable profession, full of good and compassionate people who put others first as a matter of course, who put off eating, using the bathroom, or catching up on endless paperwork to help move someone up in bed, or explain what exactly that machine does and what it means when it beeps like that. We aren't perfect people, of course--we make mistakes, have bad days, and heaven knows some days we can barely keep our eyes open or our hastily-gulped-down lunch in our stomachs; we get headaches and cramps, our feet and backs are frequently hurting, and we may witness more human suffering in a week than most people see up close in a lifetime. Sometimes we go home and cry. Sometimes we go home and drink too much. Sometimes we push ourselves past our limits and burn out, like stars past their prime.

But we are healers at heart, and we must remember to heal ourselves--and each other--as we do our patients. No matter how long, difficult, or exasperating her shift was, the nurse will almost always find the reserves of strength and compassion to do one more thing for someone who needs her. Love and the will to heal are not finite resources, although sometimes we may feel we have been completely drained of all we have; they spring from the bottomless well of the soul, a place where all people are deserving of care and compassion, all wounds can be healed eventually, and almost anything is possible if we will just believe. We are human beings, as well as nurses, who deserve all the good things we offer--much too often--to anyone and everyone except ourselves. We must remember to love and care for ourselves as we have for others.

To all my brother and sister nurses, down in the trenches, with all the mud and blood and pain and tears, who run toward the sounds of suffering instead of away from them--thank you. I love you all.

Edited by Esme12

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 42 years experience. 4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

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Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 42 years experience. 4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Well said!!!!! It is as if I wrote this myself.

herring_RN, ASN, BSN

Specializes in Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical. Has 50 years experience. 3,651 Posts

Thank you CryssieD and Esme!

I remember working nights on Valentines Day when lots of people came to us from the ER.

Mostly DUI accidents hurting people who drank because they had no valentine.

We adopted our dogs a couple years apart. They already had their names, Duke and Pearl. Like Ellington and Bailey!.Pearl looks cuter when her ears are up. She's a whippet mix. Fast and graceful.

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LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience. 8,427 Posts

I received pre-Valentine's Day appreciating, heck just plain nurse appreciation from a teen who was scared and thought she had something serious going on; she found out it was nothing and would recover-hugs were from mom and teen!!!

:inlove: Happy Valentines day everyone!