A Tribute to Nurses...


Only a nurse (or fireman) will identify the intrinsic problem with this picture...
We were so proud to bake her a cake for her birthday.

I am the first to admit that I was far from being 'a natural' nurse. After graduating from Nursing School, I cried more days than not. Crying took up the first five years of my career.

And then, I got it.
Some nurses really liked their jobs. Who knew?

So, I watched them, listened to them and followed their lead.

This was how I really learned to be a nurse.

I wish I could remember all of their names - it's been a long career - but I do remember their actions.

  • Phyllis, RN - Sparks Regional Medical Center, Fort Smith , Arkansas: I was having trouble learning to start IV's. My confidence had taken a hit. I didn't want to try any more. I embraced the fact that I was a crummy nurse. When Phyllis whipped her own arm out and said "start an IV on me." I was floored by her bravery. It was then that I learned of my intrinsic IV starting technique flaw. Best to release the tourniquet before administering the fluid. Ahem.

  • Karen Bufton RN, Baylor University Medical Center: Petrified of emergency situations, I would watch Karen, a CCU nurse, manage a "code" - as I would hide in the shadows. Karen would prepare all of the necessary emergency drugs way before the physician would order them. When the doc would say "Lidocaine 100mg IV Stat!" Karen would casually pass the drug as if she was wondering when he would (yawn) get to it . It was a beautiful sight to see. I remember commenting, "When I grow up, I want to be just like her".

  • Kim Davies RN, Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas Texas: As a big city ER nurse, I watched Kim give two itinerant farm workers a couple of dollars from her own pocket so that they could buy something to eat while they waited for a ride to their next job. She didn't know that I saw her. I will never forget her doing it. She remains a dear friend and role model to this day.

  • The Baylor Medical Center ER night shift nurses and techs and docs; who 'sucked it up' when two young boys and their mother were brought in with multiple stab wounds. The boys died soon after arrival. Chaos abounded that night, what with the onslaught of police, family members arriving and all that could be expected following such a nightmare scenario. The staff? They continued to compassionately and skillfully care for those patients with headaches, back pain and runny noses. No complaints.

  • Sarah RN, A nurse that I had developed a rapport with during her care of my best friend, Rob - while he in her care in the ICU. Sarah was a busy mother of two small children who worked 12 hour night-shifts, from 7 pm until 7 am. On the day that life support was removed from my sweet friend, Sarah came into the ICU - on her day off - to bathe and care for Rob, after his death. I tearfully thanked her. Sarah's response? "It was just the right thing to do".

These nurses are not exceptional. You can find nurses like them in every hospital, clinic or school. They are just a few of the incredible nurses that have helped me grow as a nurse and as a human being. I only wish I could list every one of them.

Yes, we all know that nurses have to do gross shit but what you don't hear a lot about... is the awesome life experiences that we get to have.

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