When was the last time you saw a man take his last breath, helped bring a new baby into the world, hugged a mom who found out her child has cancer, or had a water fight with a ten-year-old boy battling cystic fibrosis?
Nurses have been the topic of many hashtags the last week with #nursesmatter #nursesunite and #nursessavelives. In the controversy surrounding comments made on The View I wanted to share my appreciation for the nurses who have made an impact on my life and the lives of my family and friends.
I was reminded just this morning about the importance of a great nurse.
My 7-year-old son woke up this morning and couldn’t move his mouth into a smile or a frown. It looked like he had been to the dentist for a cavity and had his mouth numbed. But he hadn’t.
As he bounced into our bedroom and plopped down on our bed (as he does every Saturday morning) I noticed that his speech seemed a little slurred. I quickly put my glasses on and as I watched him talk. The right side of his face wasn’t keeping up with the left. His right cheek was puffy compared to the left. And when he closed his eyes, the right didn’t close as quickly as the left. As he continued talking I woke up my husband and got him to notice what was happening without our son realizing what we were doing. Thoughts of strokes, permanent paralysis, and fear were soon all I could think about.
By the time we made it to the pediatrician’s office, I was beyond nervous. Our regular pediatrician was off for the weekend so we saw a new to us doctor and nurse. When we got into the exam room, the nurse was amazing!
She was nice, smiled, and joked around with my son. She asked him questions at his level, and went above and beyond what she needed to do to make him feel comfortable. (He was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy and is being treated. We are very thankful it wasn’t something more serious and was definitely a scary experience that I hope to not have to deal with again!)
I am so grateful for the wonderful nurses I’ve had throughout the years. When I gave birth to each of my babies, nurses made sure I was comfortable and safe. When my babies spent weeks in the NICU and there were so many sleepless nights listening to alarms going off and wondering if my children were going to breathe or not, it was such a blessing to sit and talk with the nurses…not always about hospital stuff, but to have a conversation that you’d have with a friend about life, restaurants, and those “normal” things that I was craving after being in a hospital for so long. The pediatric nurses I see out in our community who always remember my children’s names and have a personal story to tell when we see them are such special people.
Nurses are underappreciated heroes. They perform tasks that many people wouldn’t be able to do, deal calmly with stressed out families, and save lives! Nurses spend their days attending the needs of other people while having to miss out on their own needs: attending their children’s activities, staying with their own sick child, or missing holidays with their families. Their days are long and full of care and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
When was the last time you thanked a nurse for a job well done? Nurses do matter and they definitely save lives!