A Nurse's Reflective

This weekend was difficult to say the least. Threatened with bodily harm by a visitor. We were escorted to our vehicles by security when the shift was over. Do you ever wonder why nurses even bother trying to save people’s lives or give comfort to the suffering? I guess because we care. I know if I dwell on these miserable facts it makes me really depressed. So we become a little more detached from the living. Or so it seems.

Why Do They Treat Us So....

Why do people do this to other humans? Biting the hand that comforts. It often makes me step back and look at myself. Is this why that higher power has put those people on earth to make us look at ourselves a little closer? I am no theologian that is for sure. When someone treats us badly do we not ask ourselves; what did I do wrong? I often ask myself that question. For instance, I have this little elderly person in my charge, who is depending on me for a lot of his basic needs. I have fed him, bathed him, helped him to the bathroom (and provided the normal hygiene that is required for that task), given him medicine, turned him, pulled him up in the bed, changed the sheets, et cetera, et cetera.

Now a family member comes in and demands to know why the water pitcher has no ice, just water. Wants the oxygen cannulae changed because he says it is too rubbery (what that means I have no clue). I explain about the water that the room is warm and the ice melts quickly, they counter with well you know heart patients are always cold, I said nothing. What do you say? It’s a lose-lose situation you take it and just go on. Needless to say I went to school for a very long time to be what I am. What that is sometimes I fail to understand.

Treat Others The Way I Would Like to be Treated

I will never treat people as though they’re lesser than me ever. I don’t understand people who do. Threats of bodily harm because you are trying to save someone’s life are totally unacceptable. Who is there to watch our backs and keep us safe besides the almighty and each other. There is really no one to stop someone from coming in and going postal on us. I know it happens.

On second thought at least if that happens I was doing something to help others and I can believe I will go to a better place. The tortured soul who believes that we need not be on earth anymore is probably not going to a better place. Does the higher power forgive the mentally insane? Why do I feel as though something is chipping away at my soul? That emptiness has grown over the years. You know that empty feeling you get after a bad dream, it has become more prevalent as time goes by.


Is this a post traumatic reaction to being in the line of work that we are in? I know stories that would curl your hair, but I cannot tell them, not as myself anyway. I suppose this is a topic that is well worth delving into a little further.

Copyright © 2010 Tammy Lochmann

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Comments 41 comments

resspenser profile image

resspenser 7 years ago from South Carolina

Okay, here is a true story about a nurse whose name I never knew.

My father was in the hospital in the last stages of COPD. We asked the doctor if we could do anything about his suffering. Tammy, you know what he was going through and I don't have to spell it out. He said we could give him a shot and authorized two. My Mom agreed to the first one. My Dad was cantankerous and always said that particular doctor was going to kill him. He was right.

When the nurse gave him the shot tears poured down her face. He finally got peace a little later but what I will always remember is the nurse.

Stay strong, we need you.

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

resspenser...what can I say to that? I cried this weekend not for the dead but for the living. THANK YOU!

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia

Bless you, Lockerman! I hate to see nurses mistreated!

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

Just a fact of life Holle, you just have to take it and go on. Love to you...Lockerman :-D

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

I'd really like to hear more stories about your experience as a nurse. Perhaps you could make it into a short story and change the names? You certainly don't get enough credit for what you do, so if no one else did already, I want to say thank you for doing what you do.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

still you have a caring heart, and thats why you are a nurse, there are just some people who couldnt appreciate and sometimes society has lots of them, Thanks for you are you, Maita

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

Dohn...How do you know these things I have already started writing a short story and am planning a series of them. You are a smart cookie you are. Thank you so much for reading and making a comment. I hope I didn't come off as looking for sympathy though. I just had all those thoughts rolling around in my mind and wrote them out.

Maita...You are so sweet, all my Philipina friends are so nice. Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to read and comment. I so appreciate your comments.

pmccray profile image

pmccray 7 years ago from Utah

Tammy, I've always felt that our nations priorities are wrong. We under pay the most important caregivers in our society, policemen, nurses, firefighters and teachers. Overpay guys to bat, pass and dunk balls. Something is so wrong with this picture. Our nation lost some of these caregivers on 911 charging into the fray to save lives, yet nothing has changed. We should all hang our heads in shame. Thank you for your devotion.

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

pmccray...Well If I really think about it and dwell on it it makes me really angry I just have to think positive thoughts about it all. Thank you for your encouragement those things mean a lot to me. I just wonder who will take care of the sick when there are no nurses anymore.

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Deborah Sexton 7 years ago

I am a R.N. and I agree with a lot of things. However: when my 87 year old Father was dying and didn't even know who we were. Who was being given high dosages of medication, called one of the nurses a name because she wouldn't leave him alone, she hit him with her fist in the ribs. She didn't know I was his daughter. She came out of his room with her fists still intact complaining about the "Old Bastard" I had no other choice but to report her to the hospital where she worked and I still do..to the State Attorneys office and to the insurance company.

Not everyone who is a nurse, is a CARE giver.

Rose West profile image

Rose West 7 years ago from Michigan

I enjoyed reading this little peek into your life. I can't imagine why anyone would want to threaten you and the other nurses with violence. That's awful! Some things we just don't understand. But hang in there!

itakins profile image

itakins 7 years ago from Irl


In these cases,I believe,the family members comments are projection-really a reflection of their own feelings of inadequacy.

After all ,you are doing the caring -they are not-maybe for very good reasons-but it irks them anyway.

As for the tubing,I'm too polite to tell you my suggestion as to where you might tell them to put it_:)

Great hub from a great nurse.

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

Deborah...Sorry you had to have something like that happen to you and I know some Nurses aren't CARE givers I work with a lot of them. I am glad you are taking a stand and doing what you should do to get that nurse out so she doesn't hurt anyone else. What can you say to that...I can't even imagine how you feel about someone doing that to your family member. I really hope she gets what she deserves. Thanks for taking the time to comment and read. I happen to work in an area of the country that has a lot of poor uneducated people. They don't understand their actions or understand what we do a lot of the time.

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

Rose...Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I'll never understand the awful way people treat others.

Ita...You are so right! I wish I could tell them where to put the tubing too LOL. The Nun's don't take too kindly to that kind of stuff though. Thank you for stopping by and I am always so happy to see you!

Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas

During both my mom and brother's illnesses our family was fortunate to have caring, skilled, willing nurses -- our experience was, blessedly positive both times. Having worked in the legal field for years (paralegal) it took me a long time to figure out the unkindess and downright ignorance of some clients. Lawyers don't take much abuse but their supporting staff take a lot. It was like a light came on one day and I realized I was in a field that served unhappy, dissatisfied people whether plaintiff or defendant. If one goes to a lawyer - there's usually a problem. My light at the end of that tunnel was the occasional adoption where a child got a forever home or when a hard-working but poor individual inherited lots of money from an unknown relative. It doesn't make nursing or being a paralegal any easier but as both fields deal with the distressed it at least occasionally provides some blessed relief! Wonderful and well written Hub - I relate totally - thanks so very much! Best, Sis

Sara Tonyn profile image

Sara Tonyn 7 years ago from Ohio, the Buckeye State

I applaud the job nurses do; I offer you and all nurses my sincere thanks. I could never do all the hard work you do and still remain positive and keep smiling. If you need to vent at times, you've certainly earned the right to!

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

Angela...Thanks for empathizing with me. Your advice and encouragement are greatly appreciated and always taken seriously. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

Sara Tonyn....Thank you for taking the time to read and make a comment. Sometimes validation of feelings is hard to come by I appreciate you doing that.

hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 7 years ago from Italy

My father was a doctor, so I knew some nurses, and some of my friends are nurses. Your work is priceless, as you are the ones always in the line of duty; as you said some are care givers, some are not. In the same way some people appreciate your efforts and some do not. Impoliteness and stupidity are common these days. I guess that many of those who mistreat nurses become like lambs when they need you for themselves. And the ones who don't, well, there's not to much that can be done with them. Provided we are talking about care givers like you.

Great hub.

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

hypnodude...Hi thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I just came home from work and saw your comment. It was really nice to see it after a day at work. People these days and especially in the area I live in are primarily poor and uneducated and do not know how much study and work it takes to be a good nurse. I have to remember that sometimes when I don't understand the way someone behaves. I even find myself feeling guilty about having bad feelings about being mistreated by someone else. That sounds crazy doesn't it. Sometimes I wish I was more callous and didn't care about how people treated me and acted the same way, somehow I wonder if it would be easier to live that way. Whoops I have gone on too long. Thanks for stopping by

hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 7 years ago from Italy

Thanks to you. :) I guess your feelings are a consequence of you caring for your patients and not seeing them as "objects". It's the price to pay to be a sensitive person, and a good nurse.

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas

Hi Tammy, nice hub I for one have a lot of respect for nurses. I was an open heart surgery patient and I remember the nurse I had in ICU was like an angel that never left my side. Every single need of mine was met and she treated me with such dignity and care. You know the pillows they give heart paitents to help them get up well she signed it for me with a nice message of faith on it and I still have it to this day. Hang in there your actions will be rewarded.

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

Ladyjane1...Hi nice to meet you and thank you for taking the time to read and make a comment. It fills me with such pride to be a part of such a wonderful profession and when I hear about someone else's compassionate actions it fills me with even more pride.

thanks again for stopping by and making a comment.

lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 7 years ago from USA

There are always those who are called and then those who are working to work, as in any field. You are called and that makes the difference. I enjoyed your hub.

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

lctodd1947...Thank you so much for taking the time to read and make a comment. I have always felt I became a Nurse for a reason. It becomes clearer the longer I practice. Thanks again!

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

Sad that people would mistreat you or any nurse who is comforting their loved ones. This person must be imbalanced or at the least overcome with some kind of grief or guilt. God Bless You for the precious work you do.

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

Thank you James for taking the time to read and comment. I try not think about it too much, because it really gets to you. It's rather cathartic to write about it though and it makes for a good story.

I am so happy to see you my friend it makes my day when I see you have read one of my stories....Tammy

Lou C profile image

Lou C 7 years ago

I thought I had commented before on this hub but I must of got side tracked.

Anyways, you get to know people through their writing. I have always been known as being a good judge of character.

Having said that, I can tell that you are a caring and compassionate individual and probably one of the best in your profession as a nurse.

It angers me so that you have had to go through this. Much of this is just the society that we live in today. I hope you continue to do the terrific job that you have been doing. This world needs kind, compassionate and professional nurses. Thanks for all that you do.

Lou C

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

Lou C....Thank you for your very kind and considerate comment (Blush). I thought that people should know what we go through as nurses. It's not always like some drama on the TV. You are right about the society that we live in. All we can do is hope for change and do what we can to help.

Thanks again, Tammy

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Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

Hey Tammy, I so enjoy your stories. Heartfelt and honest, everyone of them. I'd sure appreciate having you for my nurse if I ever needed one again. I've said it before, and I'll likely say it many more times - this is just one job I am not cut out for - but I am SOOO thankful there are those of you who are.

I can't wait to get a glimpse of your short stories. I hope you are working on getting something published?

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

Duchess...I have started one that I am going to take my time on. I have been lucky and I am working on a freelance article and an article for an online publication a group of us from the south here are trying to make a go of. Thank you for your wonderful comments and it is always a pleasure to see you.

Sincerely, Tammy

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

Glad to know about the nurses. I really appreciate the nurse job for taking care the patient. Thanks for share with us.

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

prasetio30...thank you for your kind and considerate words. I appreciate the time you took to read and make a comment.

Sincerely, Tammy

TINA V profile image

TINA V 7 years ago

Being a nurse is not only a profession but a calling. It entails much dedication, patience and humility. There are a lot of good nurses. It is not an easy work.

But I experienced before a nurse who was neglectful of her duty in the emergency room. She talks a lot with her co-worker. Oh my, I need to call her attention.

I hope that other patients and nurses would read this hub. You are right that we should all treat each other the way we want to be treated.

You have been blessed with a good heart to serve others. It may not be easy but I am sure that your reward from above will come sooner than you expected.

Have a great week!

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

Tina...Thank you for your lovely comment. It makes me proud to do what I do even more. I encounter those who don't care anymore too. Unfortunatly, some Nurses fall victim to burn out. It is especially common in the high stress environment like the emergency room. These Nurses need help but there is no real support for them. A lot of times they hire Nurses just because they need a warm body because there are so few of us right now.

Unfortunate also that you had to deal with one of those Nurses. Burned out Nurses give us a bad rep.

Thanks again! Tammy

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inthefield 7 years ago


I am still struggling to justify my choice to be a nuse. This is my fourth year as a RN. What a title! I sometimes feel like nothing but a housemaid constantly abused, exploited & manipulated by system in general. Is it too much?

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

Inthefeild...I struggle with the being an educated maid thing too. It really is a bummer. I have been practicing for 16 years now. It can be too much if you let it. I try not to think of it that way. I hope that you can find some satisfaction in it. It can be hard to get sometimes.

Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment.

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa

Tammy - nurses are very important people in any health care system, but are very often not recognised as such. They are usually underpaid and treated like dirt by surgeons, patients, hospital administrators and all! they have to work long hours and still give the best they can in the way of care, often to grumpy and ungrateful patients.

Nurses are supposed and expected to care, but who cares for them? I feel for you.

Love and peace


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago Author

Tonymac...Thank you for your kind, empathic note. A lot of us succumb to depression, drug abuse, and quit all together. Burn out is a real problem too. A lot of Nurses quit nursing within the first two years of becoming one. It's a hard job.

2uesday profile image

2uesday 6 years ago

Tammy when you next feel like this try to remember that for everyone who behaves badly there are many more who are quietly thanking their lucky stars that their loved one is being looked after by a nurse like you.

I suppose their anger and frustration at the illness sometimes spills over to be vented on the next person they see. That however that is giving them the benefit of the doubt - and when people act in an aggresive and uncivilised way it can never be justified.

Tammy - the world is a better place for people doing the job you do, I know I could never do it. Thank you.

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

2uesday...Thanks for dropping by and giving your words of encouragement. Nursing is something that I have wanted to do all my life...I am proud to do it.

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