In honor of nurses everywhere and in celebration of the first day of Nurses Week, this is an open letter to my colleagues. The original post was from May 19, 2015, however I want to say thank you again (and again and again); you guys are heroes for so many.
An open letter to my fellow nurses,
You are a unique group of individuals, truly one-of-a-kind. I don’t know of any other profession that has personality, heart and mind so truly interwoven with the work being done, and also with the relationships being built. It takes a remarkable person to walk out of a room after comforting someone nearing death, directly into another room while smiling, with the aim of treating each person like they are your sole patient.
I admire you for the endless multitasking that you do. The everyday tasks of admitting, discharging, passing medications; more importantly the critical thinking. To receive fifteen pieces of information and somehow see a larger picture. You don’t just see the larger picture, but you are the very eyes and ears when the physician, family, and patient are not always able.
Thank you fellow nurses, for teaching me, encouraging me, building me up, sharpening my skills, and pointing me towards better ways of care. To the instructors, you put life into theory and taught me how to learn on my own. To the preceptors, your patience is unparalleled. I know this now that I’ve had the opportunity to guide first year youngsters in nursing school. To the charge nurses and directors, you are the glue that holds us all together! You are incredible under the pressures of patient care, policy, HCAHPS, budget, and everything else that goes into running a unit. You are incredible when the worst crises hit; you don’t take over but you guide us so so that we will be better equipped next time. To the aids and assistants (AND SITTERS), we could not do our job without you! You have taught me how to give the most basic care with the best heart, and you have taught me the weight of that. To my fellow nurses, you are the best friends and colleagues to a fresh nurse, with only two years of experience.
You give up hours, weekends, and holidays with your family to spend days and nights at the bedside. You deal with unspeakable sadness, usher in moments of triumph, and even gracefully handle the rudest of people. And you still smile every day. You are the only people who will help me change a C. diff diaper or place a difficult foley catheter, and then ten minutes later share a large pizza with me. You don’t cringe at the inappropriate joke I make while we eat, but return it with an even grosser bodily-fluid-comeback. You hold my pager when I’m in dire need of coffee, and remind me it’s been eight hours since I last peed. You make the biggest and best potlucks for any holiday or excuse to celebrate. You listen to me vent when the lady down the hall punches me, and you give me a hug (when I cry in the med room) after someone else’s crazy second removed cousin yells at me about the lack of gourmet food.
You inspire me to work harder every day, to master the material, and to remain soft-hearted with a very difficult patient population. You are a rare breed. You have the sickest humor, the most resilent of souls, and the kindest hearts. I am blessed to call you peers.