There are many facets to nursing: patient advocacy, medication administration, coordination of care, interdisciplinary cooperation, patient and family education, and so much more. At the core, nursing is about caring for another human being at their most vulnerable. We nurses have the unique experience of entering another world as we enter the hospital doors, our lives go on hold as we take on the care of a total stranger. We walk alongside our patients and cheer their successes as we work to overcome the challenges their bodies and souls face while they heal one hour, one day at a time.
This pandemic has brought nursing, and healthcare in its entirety, into the spotlight. We’ve been called heroes and received gratitude from patients, families, and coworkers alike. Our actions to help isolated patients during this crisis have been displayed on news networks and social media. For nurses this is an unusual phenomenon; you see, the nature of our work is somewhat secretive. Part of taking care of the most vulnerable is protecting their dignity, health, and privacy.
Despite this, I’ve been glad to see the extraordinary efforts of dedicated nurses across the globe being brought to light. These acts of compassion are are the lifeblood of nursing. We listen to hearts beating, lungs expanding with air, as well as secret hopes and fears. We are the hand that holds yours late at night and and the voice that whispers, “I’m here. You’re doing well. I’m watching out for you.”
No matter your race, creed, gender, body art, past mistakes, or current mishaps, nurses will be here to take care of you. We will listen to the things you’re too scared to tell your family, to hear your stories, and to fight for you. Even when you can’t fight anymore, we’ll be there at your side to bring you comfort and give your family the space they need to be with you and cherish you.
I only hope we remember these things as this pandemic fades and we return to our daily routines and activities. It is the incredible compassion of the women and men I stand at bedside with that inspire me to continue in this journey.
Peace and love to you. Stay kind out there.