There is an old meme that bears re-sharing, given the recent dust-up regarding Miss Colorado’s talent monologue about being a nurse, and the resulting outrage from nurses all over the country when the women of “The View” decided to weigh in on it in a critical and uninformed way. It goes like this…
As the mother of a nurse, I was amazed at the ignorance displayed by the talking heads on TV and even more amazed to see the outpouring of support that culminated in a Twitter campaign tagged #nursesunite.
The ladies of “The View” aired a fairly empty and self-serving apology in a follow-up show, as sponsors and viewers were departing in droves, and after watching it on social media, I was unimpressed. I am sure I am not alone.
Back to Nurses: This is a profession that has grown, changed, improved, taken on both genders, and prides itself in its “patient-centered” care. A Doctor or surgeon may see you once or twice, and you can easily become the “case” that must be addressed, fixed or solved. A Nurse, on the other hand, often cares for you over time and may know the names of your children and spouse as easily as he or she knows what schedule your meds are to be given and that you prefer your room lighting lowered.
You are rarely a case to them, but rather, a patient.
If you have a Nurse Practitioner, you get the best of both worlds; medical knowledge only rivaled by a Doctor’s, but with the patient-centered training that causes them to handle you and your illness with that mindset.
Our daughter has been very fortunate to find this profession that is so difficult, heartbreaking and challenging, but that is truly her calling. She is dedicated, conscientious, able to go from a difficult catheterization to comforting a child who is getting poked with needles for what seems the hundredth time that day, and never misses a beat. She is aware she does not know everything and is open to learning in every shift. Her preference is pediatrics, so she will probably never be my nurse, but I would feel blessed if she was.
Are all Nurses like this?
Of course not. As in every profession, you will find a Bell Curve distribution of the outstanding to the not so outstanding. Nurses are full-time career women and men, Moms and Dads, caretakers of aging parents, and everything in between. You may have someone who is burnt out by the stress, having a bad day, or who is simply exhausted. Nursing is taxing to the mind and the body. They are exercising compassion along with compressions, cheering cranky children up while changing sheets, and quite frankly, dealing with more body fluids in a day than I care to contemplate.
In nearly all cases, however, they are highly qualified, educated professionals who deserve to be treated that way. They are not maids, errand runners or punching bags and woe to those who believe differently.
So, in closing, the next time you are in the hospital…I hope you keep these things in mind and even though you may be feeling too miserable to be very cordial or respectful to your Nurses when you arrive, try to get to that behavior as soon as you can. I guarantee that you will make a much more pleasant experience for both you and your medical professionals.
~Signed, A Nurse’s Mom