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June 2, 2013

a story from the life of a nurse

I have just come off of 3 days of work on this stormy Sunday, a perfect day to rest and let those three days melt away from my tightened back and neck.  I always feel tired after a 12 hour day, let alone three of them in a row. 
And though I'm so glad to be off today (who doesn't love a day off, eh?) I love my work as a nurse. I love learning how amazing (and weird) the body is.  I love seeing patients who look like they may pass from this life to the next, miraculously open their eyes, follow commands, and begin to repair the torment that happened inside their body.  I enjoy seeing the love of family members- it's rather humbling to be a part of some of their most intimate and precious times.  And I enjoy the rush of critical situations. 
On Friday, I was struck by a challenging situation- a nauseous patient.  I HATE nausea. I think it's the worst feeling, and frankly as a nurse, it's not the easiest of ailments to cure.  There are a few miraculous drugs, but they aren't a cure-all, and they can't be given closer than four hours apart, given the danger they can pose on our cardiac patients' hearts. So this means that if a drug doesn't work, I then have a 4 hour window of grasping at non-medicinal remedies like cold washcloths and fans, and quite honestly, we all just end up dry heaving.  
I left my shift Friday so tired from trying to make this person feel better.  I went to bed and got up to the roar of my alarm again on Saturday morning and lazily threw my scrubs back on.  Thankfully, the patient had found relief in the night and was transferred to a step-down unit. 
About halfway through the shift yesterday, that patient's family member came around the corner with a big smile on her face.  She was there the day before through the muck.  She gave me a big hug and handed me a box of chocolates for the entire staff and a book especially for me (we were sharing our love of Dan Brown books the day before).  She said she could tell I had done all that I could and knew that it wasn't an easy day- for the patient, but also for me.  I was so thankful to her for thinking of me and specifically telling me how grateful she was.
Her thoughtfulness has just reminded me of how good it feels to be recognized, and also how amazing it was to have a specific gesture of thanks. In our digital world, it is easier to do this, but how meaningful it was to be sought after and thanked specifically. I know how much it meant to me, so how much will it mean to someone else? That's my challenge today. 

(found a cozy chair in the guest room to chill out with a book!)

chapter 1....

**thankful today- happy sunday**

1 comment:

  1. that is so sweet! it is definitely nice when hard work is recognized. Good job, Nurse Dana. (also can I borrow that book when you are done?!)