The following is for a school assignment for my RN-BSN. I wrote this and realized how tired I am, especially from the year 2020. Anyone else have similar thoughts? Let me know!
There have been misconceptions about nurses over the years whether it was mocking us about using “a doctor’s stethoscope” in 2015 on The View, the commonly worn provocative nurse costume, or when a Senator suggested that we play cards most of the day. The thing is, you do not see what we really do until you are a patient, have a family member in the hospital, or walk in our shoes.
As a patient you see me bringing you medications in a cup, you see me connecting your IV to fluids, antibiotics, or blood products. You see me helping you get up in the chair, taking you to the bathroom, or getting back in bed. I take your vitals and record them, I change your dressing on your wounds, I bathe you, and clean you when your incontinent. I turn you every two hours to prevent you from getting a pressure injury. I check your sugar and bring you insulin. I also bring you snacks or a drink and take out your trash from the room. I bring you pain medication to try to provide you with comfort and relief. I do all these things while also talking to you about your illness or talking about your life stories. I listen to your travel stories and put that place in the back of my mind for a vacation. More recently, you see me wearing a gown, gloves, two different masks, shoe covers, and a face shield. You can see our eyes but not our smiles when we laugh with you. Yet you still call us nurses beautiful.
What you do not see us doing in the room is advocating for you to the doctors, when we know something is going wrong. You do not see that we watch your labs, read the scans that you have had done, and read the progress notes from the entire team taking care of you. We document everything about you, from a minor skin tear, how many times you have used the bathroom, to how much you have had to drink throughout the shift. We do this for you and our other patients we are taking care of that shift. You do not see us grabbing everything we need to take in one room before putting on all the protective wear. You do not see that another patient passed away and we perform post-mortem care on them before coming to your room to assist you. You do not see how tired we are after the end of the shift; you do not see the tears in our eyes while driving home. You do not know that we think about you at times when no longer taking care of you, wondering how you are doing, if you are getting better or worse. You don't see us doing any of these things, but just know, we are here for you and the caring never stops.