Thursday, May 7, 2015

Happy Nurses Week

Happy Nurses Week!

       Happy and healthy Nurses day and a sincere thank you to my fellow nurses who have shaped nursing to be what it is today.  As nurses, I encourage each of you to remember what brought you to nursing, was it your caring spirit, your desire to serve others, your ability to critically think, your flexibility with schedules and juggling multiple tasks, your desire to help others, your ability to teach and make a difference, your ability to adapt to different environments and different situations, your love for life new and old, your love of challenges, your love for people?  
       I started out a computer major; but, it didn’t take long for me to know that wasn’t my calling.   It was my father who suggested nursing.  I had a caring spirit and big heart; he knew it would be a match for me.  It’s interesting, once I changed majors I never doubted if I made the right choice as I had when I was a computer major. Not once did I look back.  I knew serving and caring for others was where I was meant to be; and on some occasions I believe God has placed me in certain situations to show me that I am carrying out what I was and am called to do.   

       Once you are a Nurse you are always a Nurse. Your nursing duties don’t stop when you leave your place of work.  You are called upon by friends, friends of friends, family, neighbors, and others to diagnosis and give advice over the phone (I love the ones about skin lesions over the phone), or over the fence, at a party, or at a sporting event.  It doesn’t even have to be a sick person for someone to call, it could be regarding a sick pet after the Veterinarian’s office is closed; the duties are endless.  Just recently I was attending a festival with my mother when a man collapsed at my feet. There was no doubt; I was where I was supposed to be.  No, nursing duties are never shut off and there is no notice as to when you will be called to use your skills.  But, it doesn’t matter; because Nurses always step up. 
       Nurses are mighty, strong, tender and kind.  Nurses are called upon in the toughest of times and the darkest of times AND we always deliver.  Nurses have consistently shown to be reliable responders when disaster strikes; when others are fleeing the danger, it’s the nurse who runs to it and sees you through it –even putting their own safety at risk.  The outpouring of nurse volunteers in the wake of the Haiti earthquake and the many other natural disasters we have faced are evidence of this.    
       When you’re short staffed on the unit and patients need extra time and attention, who steps up?  When the physicians are out of the office, who keeps the office open, who answers phone calls of the distressed, who has to give unfavorable test results or lab results and walk through each emotion with a stranger, who provides lifesaving advice over the telephone, who is it you first see when you come into the emergency room?  It’s a Nurse. Who delivers the baby when the physician can’t make it there in time? It’s a Nurse.  Who else will hold your head when you are sick and clean you up, who else can titrate medications at mcg/kg/min at split second notice, who else can throw out the guidelines when clinical scenario calls for it, who else can make life and death decision at a moment notice, who else holds a hand, says a prayer and sheds a tear with a stranger during their last moments?  It’s a Nurse.  And it will always be a Nurse.  That’s the nature of nursing.  Nurses touch lives and there will not be many in this world who hasn’t or won’t need a nurse in their lifetime. 

       If you are reading this and you are not a nurse; most likely at some point in your life you will need a nurse for a test result, for advice, to hold your hand, to see you through a critical moment or time in your life. Don’t worry, we will be there.  And now with health care at the center of political debates and payment systems and health care eligibility changes occurring, who is called upon yet again?  Nurses.   When the population demanded more providers and better access to health care, who stepped up?  Nurses.  When the government stopped reimbursing for hospital acquired infections or 30 day readmissions for certain diseases, or when reduction in hospital stay is demanded, who does the administrators of the health system call upon? Nurses. Who will see the health system through the political and financial challenges demanded by our time?  Nurses.   Thanks colleagues for making nursing what it is today.  Because of you, we are in high demand, by administrators, insurance companies, employers, government and, most importantly, our patients.   

There is no better time to be a Nurse.