Somewhere There is a Nurse Monday, July 14th, 2014
Somewhere, there is a nurse. She left her family in the early hours of the morning, and came to take care of mine. She has been on her feet since before I was awake, and she will keep working tirelessly until the end of her day… even if that means working throughout the night. After rounds of patients and charts and fickle computer systems, she will finally go home to those she loves, only to come back tomorrow to do it all again.
She will not only comfort her patients with words and kindness, but she will comfort with confidence – a trust in herself. The trust that she has in ability of her own hands to bring healing.
She isn’t just the hospital badge or the scrubs or the lace up shoes. She isn’t just the person that brings the medicine or checks blood pressures or takes a temperature. She is more than the doctor’s extra hands or the person in charge of the charts.
She is a daughter – a friend – a wife – a mother. She is a person. And she matters.
After a short but scary stay in the hospital this week, I cannot help but feel the need to say, “Thank you.” Thank you to each woman who walked into my room and cared for me like I was your only patient. Thank you to each woman who listened to what I was saying, and even more closely to what I wasn’t saying. Thank you to each woman who stayed up all night monitoring my health and the health of my unborn baby. Thank you to each woman who worked throughout the day to help me fight for one more day of pregnancy with a baby trying to come early.
Thank you for your help. Thank you for your hands. But most importantly, thank you for your heart.
There are so many like you. There are so many men and women who sacrifice time with their families to take care of strangers as if they were their own. There are so many thankless, tireless hours spent pouring out care and concern and compassion into the lives of others. And there are far too few who will take a minute to look back and say, “Thank you. You made a difference in my life.”
I know that you wouldn’t do this if you didn’t want to make a difference. I know that you wouldn’t bother to come back one more day if you didn’t truly care. It is your heart that drives you. It is your love for your patients and your work that keeps you going.
So, if I can just take a second here, I’d like to stop and say, “I appreciate you.”
Thank you to the young wife who spent your night at the hospital instead of at home with your new husband. Your care didn’t go unnoticed. Your kindness shouldn’t go unmentioned. Your presence brought me peace.
To the young momma with two little children of your own, I am sure that you missed your precious little ones even more as we discussed mine. I am sure that you would have preferred to make them breakfast or spent time with them today instead of me. I am sure you think about all the moments that you miss. But I’m thankful for each one of them that you sacrificed to care for me. They were each appreciated. I will treat them like a gift.
Thank you to the pregnant woman on your feet all day – who didn’t complain about the size of your belly or the ache of your back or the swelling of your ankles, but who simply continued to pour out endless amounts care – continual concern – and limitless compassion. Your strength is admirable.
To the nurse in training, or the nurse who is training, to the nurse in her first years, or the nurse in her last, to the nurse who is just starting her shift or the nurse at the end of it, to the nurse who wonders if she’s making a difference, or the nurse who just needs to be reminded…
I would love the honor of reminding you that you matter. You are seen. You are valuable. And you are so very appreciated. Somewhere, there is a nurse, and I just wanted to take a minute to say, “Thank you.”
Note: While I write for an audience made up primarily of women, I know that there are so many wonderful men who are also a part of the nursing community. I am just as grateful for your hearts and hands as well. Thank you for all you do!