Our younger daughter just graduated from the only accredited Nursing Residency Program in the country.
It resides at Cook Children’s Hospital in Ft. Worth, Texas, and although we have always been proud of her for winning her slot (There are only 12 in her cohort), and we were incredibly impressed at the scope and influence of this hospital in our initial tour when she first started, I don’t think we really understood the intensity of what it is she does each day or night that she works in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit until we visited this last weekend.
Touring the PICU before the graduation ceremony, after seeing an amazing presentation she and her teammates gave on intramuscular injections and how they can be improved, we got a peek into what she really does.
(PS: Their presentation will change the way IM injections are done at Cook, and her team will be presenting at two National Nursing Conferences, so their research may make IM injections safer for everyone!)
As we walked by amazing technology, machinery, and all of the advanced systems that save and maintain the lives of children, we saw a few of these small people in their beds, often with many tubes and machines attached to them.
We saw a few mothers and/or fathers who were attentively perched at the side of a bed where their child was recuperating or being sustained, and we saw the nurses on duty who operated their tools and talents with ultimate focus, all while smiling reassuringly at us.
It hit us with force that our daughter was one of those nurses. We realized concretely just what she was doing for up to 12 hours at a time. We saw examples of the commitment and brilliance that defines a great nurse and we heard from her mentors, teachers, and supervisors that our lovely, kind young woman was one of those great nurses. One of her mentors said, “She is my favorite and I know we will see great things from her.”
I am a sentimental mom, and tears were trickling down my face as she strode with the beauty, grace, and strength that radiates in her every motion up to the podium to receive her certificate and engraved plaque that commemorates one more step along her nursing journey.
Many challenges and choices lie before her, but as I read a quote from one of the physicians who attended the victims of the recent shootings in Orlando, I thought, “That is something our daughter would say.”
He said, “We are not heroes. Those people who dragged people they didn’t even know all the way here so we could attend to them are the heroes. We are just doing our job.”
Just doing their job.
Thank God they have the passion and strength to “just do their job” every day, and if you are ever in a position to do so, thank them with all of your heart.