"You can't live a perfect day until you do something for someone who will never be able to repay you."
This has been my life....Nursing. Truly, I feel, nurses are the "unsung heros." You hear a lot about firemen and policemen; little about the nurses that are caring for you in your time of need. We are your doctor's eyes and ears. We do the head to toe assessments. We hold your hand when you are scared. We administer the medications to make you feel better. We have to also treat your families with the same compassion. We answer endless questions. We clean up endless 'spills.' We try to keep you informed of your plan of care. We try to give you "hope".....even when there is little hope. We try to respect your wishes. We work hard from the moment we set foot in the hospital until the moment we exit. Nursing is draining, back breaking, and stressful. Why do we do it? Because of the quote above. We know you will never be able to repay us. We do it out of love. Helping you is our reward. We are the "unsung heros."
I just received recognition at a hospital luncheon for 25 yrs. of service. Little did I know that I would be asked to get up on stage with administration while Human Resources did a brief history of my nursing career spanning 2 1/2 decades. Then they handed the microphone to me. For the first time in my 60 years, I was at a loss for words. I said, This has been a great career and wonderful working with all of you. Thank-you."
I'm sure Human Resources breathed a sigh of relief. :0)
I started late in my mid 30's to be an LVN. I worked as a nursing assistant while studying to be a LVN. I went directly into RN school, working as a LVN to get through school. I started as an LVN on a medical surgical floor on nights and quickly moved as an RN on days in a critical care step down unit. I worked the float pool, and worked as the charge nurse on all of the medical surgical units and in the acute rehab unit. I also floated to the Intensive Care unit (ICU) and the ER. I worked the Women's unit and in the Nursery. I took a position as the Asst. Director in the Transitional Care Unit (TCU). That was in the day when we took pediatrics, hospice patients, and a little of everything. I loved that unit more than any. When they did away with the TCU (for financial reasons), I went back to the step down unit. I worked nights in order to obtain my Master's degree in Nursing. I taught student RN's for several years through the local College as an extra part-time job. I now work in the Definitive Observation Unit (DOU) where we take care of Pedes, heart caths, and a little of everything, while also, working half of the time in ICU. We are a level 11 trauma center.
This was what I was meant to do. I have never regretted a single day. I have learned something NEW everyday I have gone to work. Not many people can say that about their jobs. I have met some amazing people. I have tolerated and given compassion to drunks, drug addicts, and have had the patience to put up with the craziest, stressed out families one could ever imagine. It's not my job to "judge." It's my job to "care" for you. I have exposed myself to every infectious disease known to mankind in order to care for you. I have held the hand of dying patients and have grieved with their families. I have cried many tears. I have been slugged, pinched, spit at, bit, thrown up on, and have heard every abusive and foul word that you can think of. Nursing is not easy. And, I still "understand." I still act with "compassion." I still do my job the best that I can, every day that I work.
Picture of me with one of my very loved dementia patients in the TCU (early 90's)