Here’s a guest post by someone who tells her story about a hospice nurse she encounter during her sister’s battle with lung cancer. Thanks so much to Vivian for sharing your story. This is what Nurse Appreciation Week or Nurses’ Week is all about, which we just celebrated May 6 to the 12th.
By Vivian Davis
In my own humble opinion, nurses don’t get nearly enough praise for the work they do. No, I’m not a nurse. I don’t even work in the health care industry. The members of my family that do, are doctors.
You see, my opinion comes from experience. A couple of years ago, I spent several months going back and forth to doctor’s appointments with my sister. She had lung cancer. By the time she was diagnosed, the cancer had already spread to her brain.
I knew it was just a matter of time.
Eventually, she had to be admitted to a Hospice unit. That’s where my appreciation for all nurses grew immensely.
It’s not that doctors don’t deserve praise, because they do. They save lives every day. But sometimes I think nurses are overlooked.
They work really long days and still manage a smile and a word of encouragement. They go out of their way to make patients feel as comfortable as possible.
I noticed there were some patients whose family stopped coming to visit. As if they no longer mattered. But it was the nurses who rallied around them. Sitting and talking. Making them laugh. Giving them comfort and letting them know they did matter.
I’ll never forget a young man dying of cancer at 21. His mother had a heart attack earlier that day, and couldn’t be by his side. One of the nurses, decided to stay by his side after her shift was over. Instead of going home, she chose to stay. She knew his mother couldn’t be there for him. So she sat there holding his hand until he passed. Later I learned his mother was so thankful she was there. She felt at peace knowing he wasn’t alone.
Nurses go above and beyond.
I remember going to the hospital cafeteria to get something to eat. When I got to the cash register, I was told my food had already been paid for. I was surprised and puzzled. Before I could ask, the cashier smiled and said.
“One of the nurses paid for it!”.
I remember I almost cried.
Or the time I fell asleep in the chair next to my sister’s bed. Only to awaken wrapped in a warm handmade quilt. It belonged to one of the nurses.
She didn’t want me to be uncomfortable and cold.
I’ve seen nurses take a lot of crap from not so nice doctors. I watched a doctor yell at a nurse and call her awful names. All while standing in a waiting room full of patients.
I wanted to punch him in the head!
But still she managed to smile at the patients and take care of them as if nothing happened. That takes a lot of genuine compassion to be able to put disappointment , frustration and embarrassment aside, and not let it affect what you do.
When my sister passed, one of the nurses held me and told me it was okay to cry. She told me I did all I could do. And that my sister appreciated it all, even if she wasn’t able to tell me herself.
Nurses make their jobs seem easy and effortless. But it’s not easy, and it requires more than the average person can possibly imagine or even handle.
Nurses are not just skilled health care professionals.
They are compassionate strangers who go out of their way to heal your pain and your spirit.
They greet you with a smile and calm your fears.
They give so much of themselves after working 14 hour days. Yet they still come back the next day with that same warm smile.
To every nurse I have ever met and will meet in the future…
Thank you for all you do, you’re the best!
About the Author: Vivian Davis blogs at Home HealthAide Training and Certification Guide which focuses on helping you get the home health aide training you need to succeed.