Jump to content

Why I love being a nurse.

Nurses Article   (52,771 Views 41 Replies 1,475 Words)
by Esme12 Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN (Moderator) Nurse

Esme12 is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

5 Followers; 4 Articles; 146,142 Visitors; 20,896 Posts

advertisement

In the daily grind of patient care when we are blamed for everything...we forget it's the simple things that mean the most. Never forget to take that time to comfort someone in need. Hold their hand. Ask them...are you Okay. It is the simple things that mean the most...Here is my story.

Why I love being a nurse.

A long time ago I took care of a Class IV cardiac. For those of you who don't know what this is...a class IV cardiac patient are symptomatic at rest. They tolerate no activity. Today they are candidate for transplant. Then, they waited to die without the benefits of a portable VAD.

Mr. Jones (name changed to protect his identity) was a "frequent flyer". These are patients we seen again and again for the same diagnosis. He was an intelligent man, had his own business, and was well respected in the little community. He had several Acute MI's (STEMI, NSTEMI for the new name for an old condition) leaving him with an ejection fraction of less the 20%. Over several years I got to be "good friends" with him, his wife and daughter.

The day finally came that there was nothing we could do...he was dying. I was not his nurse that day and my heart was breaking. Each time I walked past his room I saw his little daughter Sally (name changed and if she is reading this she knows who she is. I love you) probably about 6 years old at the time, sitting in a huge chair outside his room. She was pretty in pink, lace and ruffles with her shiny patent leather shoes and lace trimmed socks. She sat on that chair never uttering a word. She watched each and every person who came in and out of her Daddy's room. Her little legs swinging back and forth wide eyed with fear and confusion...tears just on the edges of her pretty little eyes.

My heart broke into pieces.

I went over to that little girl and in my perfectly starched white dress, white hose, white shoes (NO SCUFFS) and perfect cap sat on the floor...knowing if I got caught by the nuns I would be in serious trouble...I said "Hello" and asked that little girl if she had any questions. She turned and looked at me with one tear sliding out of her eye and down her cheek "Is my daddy going to die?"

Sigh...my poor little Sally. "Yes baby he is".

As more tears flowed down her pretty little cheeks she asked..."Was I a bad girl?"

I thought "What the heck?".... "NO sweetheart why would you think that?"

With all the seriousness that a 6 year old could muster she said..."I prayed and prayed to God that he wouldn't let my Daddy go to heaven and he won't listen to me so I must have done something wrong" I thought...Oh Lord NOW what do I say?

"No baby you didn't do ANYTHING WRONG! Sometimes things happen that we don't understand. We need to pray very hard that God KNOWS what HE is doing and wants your Daddy to be an angel in your heart forever...to guide and watch you no matter what" I silently prayed..."Oh Lord please ease this babies pain"

As more tears flowed down her cheeks she cried "But I want him here" Oh man, I don't have kids...I'm only 23 years old. I said...."I know that but sometimes things happen that we don't understand and we have to pray that God give us the answers in our hearts. You need to grow up and became a wonderful young lady and your Daddy will smile in heaven."

SILENCE.

"Can I have a hug?" My resolve melted. I hugged her and we both shed a few tears.

Just then, Sister walked by in her black starched habit covered head to toe and her cross around her waist. She gave me one of those withering looks. I KNEW I would hear about it later. So be it....I will deal with it then. As predicted...I was "spoken to" about professionalism even though my motive was "noble" I needed to remember that I have an image of professionalism to uphold.

Gulp.

After a wink and a pat on my hand that was over. Shew, that was close! Sister and I had many more moments of my "noble behavior" but that is another story for another day.

Many years later in that same ICU, I worked with my Sally, all grown up and a Registered nurse....her Daddy would be so proud. I got a letter addressed to me in the ICU from someone I didn't know. I opened it and read the letter. I was stunned. It was from another little girl I had sat on the floor and talked to when her Daddy was going to heaven. Her Daddy fought a good fight. He had a massive heart attack on the golf course at age 42. He made it out of the OR but a difficult post-operative course. The damage was too great...he didn't survive.

Mary (name changed) went on to be a nurse. She was working in a major medical center in pediatric oncology/ICU. She told me the story of the nurse who took the time to stop and spend time with her and explain that it wasn't her fault and gave her a hug. Years had passed and I looked different for the cap was gone. We wore navy blue scrubs and scrub jackets although I still had my white shoes even if they were sneakers. Sister had retired the habit and only wore the veil...was a little more tolerant of my less than orthodox methods of caring by now and we had grown quite fond of each other (I love you Sister).

Mary went on to explain that from that day forward she KNEW she wanted to be a nurse. She said I had changed her life course in a 5 minute conversation out of my busy day and offers a scared sad little girl a hug.

I was stunned. After ALL THESE YEARS...she remembered me.

I realized in that moment that we touched people forever by the smallest act of kindness. That while I may not be able to "save" someone I can affect positive change. I was humbled and honored to be a nurse. We so seldom receive any Thanks for what we do and it seems at time it is a thankless difficult job...it is too easy to believe that we had no power and our efforts are futile and worthless. Well...this proved that I have the power to affect change in a positive way.

It changed the way I looked at my chosen career...forever.

As my co-workers wondered why the pillar of diplomacy and control was (to my embarrassment) was crying...they gathered around me to give support and find out what had affected me so deeply. I told them about the letter.

They wept with me.

All of a sudden my Sally spoke with tears running down her face..."You do realize Esme...YOU are the reason I became a nurse"

Whoa....WHAT???

"You never told me" I said. "I had NO IDEA Sally"

She said..."My life changed the day my Dad died and I KNEW. In that moment what I was going to be when I grew up. I knew that when I grew up I wanted to be just like you!"

I looked at her and I thought....Her Daddy would be so proud.

Sally and I remain in contact to this very day. She has now finished here Masters and teaches others about nursing and how the little things means to much. Passing on the most important message. Take that time to say...are you Okay?

THIS is why I love being a nurse. THIS is the reason I stay being a nurse. I can AFFECT POSITIVE change in the midst of tragedy. I can affect the outcome of the people's lives I touch in a positive way regardless of administration and budget cuts.

My hugs are free.

Stages of Heart Failure

  • Class I (Mild): No limitation of physical activity. Ordinary physical activity does not cause undue fatigue, palpitation, or dyspnea (shortness of breath).
  • Class II (Mild): Slight limitation of physical activity. Comfortable at rest, but ordinary physical activity results in fatigue, palpitation, or dyspnea.
  • Class III (Moderate): Marked limitation of physical activity. Comfortable at rest, but less than ordinary activity causes fatigue, palpitation, or dyspnea.
  • Class IV (Severe): Unable to carry out any physical activity without discomfort. Symptoms of cardiac insufficiency at rest. If any physical activity is undertaken, discomfort is increased.

Heart Failure Society of America

HAPPY NURSES WEEK!

35 years experience, my specialty is critical care/ED/Trauma Flight and being Mom to 2 teenage children and one spoiled Weimaraner.

5 Followers; 4 Articles; 146,142 Visitors; 20,896 Posts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2,169 Visitors; 14 Posts

we need more articles like this one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Esme12 is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

5 Followers; 4 Articles; 146,142 Visitors; 20,896 Posts

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 Articles; 3,345 Visitors; 26 Posts

We really, really do. Brought me to tears and made my dislike of the idea of going to work tomorrow go away for the moment. Thank you for sharing, Esme.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OneDuckyRN has 3 years experience and specializes in ICU.

4,347 Visitors; 137 Posts

We really, really do. Brought me to tears and made my dislike of the idea of going to work tomorrow go away for the moment. Thank you for sharing, Esme.

THIS. I couldn't have said it better myself. I might gripe & whine about my awful day when I get home from work, but I LOVE my job. Thank you, Esme.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NutmeggeRN has 25 years experience as a BSN and specializes in kids.

2 Followers; 5 Articles; 42,316 Visitors; 3,760 Posts

My hugs are free too and I'm sending one right back atcha!! Poignant and well written!

Edited by NutmeggeRN
grammar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

1 Follower; 41,925 Visitors; 4,863 Posts

Wow...I have almost no words. What a beautiful story!! Thank you for sharing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3,096 Visitors; 120 Posts

OMG I love this! Beautiful!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ratlady has 2 years experience and specializes in IBCLC.

8,256 Visitors; 550 Posts

I knew there was a reason you're my favorite person on this site!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SeattleJess specializes in None yet..

15,910 Visitors; 842 Posts

Bless you and thank you! Now you are one of the reasons I'm becoming a nurse, too. I hope your story will always inspire me at tough moments like this. (Esme, I love you!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 247,861 Visitors; 9,622 Posts

Doggone it, something's gotten into my eyes......and there's a lump in my throat. It takes a lot to produce that reaction in me. What a magnificent story, my friend. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

T.H.R.N. has 15 years experience and specializes in school nursing, home health,rehab, long-.

4,462 Visitors; 74 Posts

What a wonderful story!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing 0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×