National Nurse's Week


To all those caring decent, hardworking, funny, brilliant, skilled, creative, thoughtful and compassionate nurses out there... A belated Happy National Nurses Week - I am honored to be in your company. 

Recently, a colleague forwarded this letter from a grateful patient...I thought you might like to know how we are perceived...

Dear Nurse, 
I wanted to thank you personally for teaching this old dog new tricks. 

I always thought that nurses were basically the doctor's handmaidens. I thought that the sexy little stereotype portrayed on television (with the nurse doing sex in the linen closet with whoever) was correct. I looked upon your profession badly, and I sincerely apologize. What I have found during my stay in your care, is a completely different story. I won't say you're not sexy, (because you are) but you made it clear you don't date patients - but, just in case I am leaving my number at the end here.

Anyway, this is what I want to say and I think each patient should be given a copy of this letter on admission to any hospital. 

So here goes my opinion of what every patient needs to know.
  1. You have been placed in the hospital for nursing care.
  2. The provider of that care is a well educated individual who unselfishly dedicates themselves to your health and well-being and is proud to be a nurse. Even though you may not like being told what things are good for you and what are not - the nurse telling you, does - to give you a chance to redeem your health and well-being.
  3. Your nurse will come in after your two-minute doctor's visit and re-explain everything the doctor told you in a way that you can actually understand it.
  4. Your nurse does more than you know and knows more than you think. She/he plans your care around your medical condition, emotional state and abilities to do for yourself.
  5. Your nurse provides support to you and your family, she/he is the link between you and the doctor, and the facility.
  6. Your nurse knows what medicine you need, when, and how to give it and even how it will act on your body in a cellular level. She knows what all the tubes and stuff are and what they are used for and what to look at them for. She knows when to tell the doctor that they prescribed an inappropriate medicine that would harm you.
  7. Your nurse will hold your hand and reassure you.
  8. Your nurse watches over you, reads monitors. She knows when you're sleeping and when you're awake.
  9. Your nurse is your lifeline. She can call a whole team of professionals together with her calm voice and make them work their butts off for your life in a flash.
  10. Your nurse will wish you luck and give you all the instructions you need when you leave her competent care. Even if you were the biggest pain in the ass she ever met.
  11. Your nurse is the reason why you will go onward. Be it home, perpetual care, or the morgue. She will insure that you do so with your dignity and rights intact. Why? Because it is what a nurse does.
Sincerely, ...

So there you have it. 
Although I don't recall who sent this to me, I know you are out there and I need to give you credit for sharing this great letter and inspiring this grateful patient.

Hope your National Nurse's Week was a good one.

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