When I was a very new nurse I had a special patient whom I'll call Rebecca (to protect her privacy). She was the same age as me and she was fighting a very aggressive cancer with a bad prognosis. She was admitted often due to many palliative surgeries her illness required. I remember the insecurity I felt as a nurse assigned to her for the first time. Her parents, who would always stay with her, were both working in the medical field, which made me even more nervous. So, I took care of Rebecca, very nervously and quite unsure of myself because I wanted to do everything right and not cause her more pain. During our time together we would talk about movies, friends and fashion. We tried to make each other laugh—me, because I felt nervous; Rebecca, probably trying to forget her illness.
Some time went by and Rebecca was back for another palliative surgery and I was assigned to her again. I remember it was a very busy day and my mind was filled with many "to do lists" for the shift as I poked my head into her room to greet her. Rebecca's eyes smiled in a very tired body as she looked at her parents and said, "I get my favorite nurse back". In that moment, I felt all was well, and had an overwhelming sense that I am doing what I was meant to do. I will forever be thankful for Rebecca's gift of love and kindness. I am a nurse because my care, my conversation, and my touch are here to help my patients and my co-workers to realize that they are loved.
Recently I had a hectic week: lots of chaos, lots of different personalities to manage, and lots of requests and demands to navigate. I've never been to Cirque Du SoleiI, but in my mind, I was one of the performers that week, gracefully swinging on bars one minute and diving into a pool the next. Ah, the flexibility of a nurse! As I was finishing my shift at the end of the week, one of my patients took my hand, gently squeezed it and whispered, "I am so glad it was you with me today". Suddenly, all of the chaos felt worth it. All the worries and cares quietly slipped away and it was just me and my patient, holding my hand. Could there be a better ending to a chaotic week? I don't think so.
Thank you all my fellow nurses for being courageous, tireless and caring in this chaotic world! Thank you for being strong for your patients and your co-workers. I am extremely proud to be standing beside you. I see so much wisdom and love in you. Please, shine on!