Nurses Care About Each Other
I am often in awe of the skills of the nurses that I work with. They are some of the most intelligent, competent people in the world. Just think; nurses are saving and making an impact in someone's life every second of every day. It boggles the mind if you stop a moment and think about it. Especially if you are not a nurse.
I suppose that is just a result of the community bond that we as nurses have. We support each other, and cheer each other on. Of course it's not always like that. Sometimes there is someone who wants to be the turd in the punchbowl. I often get embarrassed when a patient or co-worker pays me a complement. I suppose we are conditioned that way. To just quietly perform our miracles and move on. I hope that doesn't sound too omnipotent, but there is not another word for it.
My unit is assigned code team this month. Late in the shift they called a code for another unit. I was available so I went to assist. Within three minutes the patient was intubated, blood pressure restored, and a pulse recording on the monitor. As I was documenting the code, I knew the exact times every move was made. This was all before a doctor even showed up.
I know! Amazing, and nurses are doing this every minute of every day.
I have been a nurse a long time, and still filled with an overwhelming sense of pride when I am witness to the bravery, and skill of other nurses. Sometimes I wonder why it is such a big deal when a "civilian" saves someone's life. We do it every day.
Stop and think about this a moment. Nurses save lives every single day, and do it quietly without fanfare. No headlines, no media coverage. Then just go on about their business. Why do they do it?
Did you know what you wanted to become when you were a child?
My first thought goes back to when I was in kindergarten. All the children in the class were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up. I said I wanted to be a nurse. I often wonder if that's when we decide we want to be nurses.
I always work with the same group of nurses. Including myself there are four of us. I asked everyone if they always wanted to be a nurse. All but one of us agreed that they (as long as they could remember) wanted to be a nurse. Interestingly enough the majority of us grew up knowing that's what they wanted to be.
Not All Roses and Sunshine
I realize I am painting a pretty rosy picture of being a nurse. It ain't all that, as a matter of fact we put up with a lot of really mean people. Bosses who micromanage. Other nurses who don't know not to sweat the small stuff. Tired and grouchy doctors, and my least favorite of all; other nurses who just don't give a damn anymore.
We are all of higher learning and attended school for a long time to become what we are. Paid the cost of higher learning. Then we go to work. Most of the time cleaning up bodily functions. Being made to feel like a lesser human being. Then we go home to our families and try to forget all the things that went on during our work day. Sometimes we can let go and sometimes it is not that easy. Yet we still go on doing what we do.
I don't know about others, but I often find myself searching for inspiration to go on. I found it this past week in other nurses. Sometimes I find it reading stories from other nurses. I find it in a kind word of thanks from a doctor. Sometimes inspiration is not to be found anywhere. Yet I continue to go to work and haven't been absent from work in almost a year (I had the flu so I suppose that is a good excuse and occupational hazard). I refuse to let anyone (or anything) get the best of me. Probably the mentality of all nurses.
I am really writing this as a tribute to one of the nurses that I work with. She was diagnosed with breast cancer recently and she was part of the cardiac arrest code that I attended. Yes she is still working and will be taking treatment soon. She likely will never read this but I needed to write this anyway. Maybe someone will see this and realize that nurses are human beings. We get sick, and get cancer too. Nurses are dedicated, brave, and courageous people no matter what capacity they are working in.
My colleague is a testament to this. She is facing a battle against a horrible foe (breast cancer), and she is there on the front line (so to speak) saving someone else's life. I would be willing to bet that she never even thought about it. All my prayers are with her in her fight. I have found inspiration in her and I hope others will see that too.
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