((Warm fuzzy.)) Although I've been out of the clinical setting for awhile, being a nurse will never leave my heart. So I still felt, as though, that sign is for me. For all the nurses, present and past, whether they are practicing, or don't have their active license. That is still a huge part of who they are. (Happy Nurses Week, Mom !)
Nurses Week is the week of May 6 (officially Nurses Day) through May 12, ending on Florence Nightingale's Birthday. She is considered the founder of modern nursing. She was born in 1820. To learn more about this risk-taking, cutting edge, and courageous woman, click on the link. To peak your interest, here is a little blurb from her life,
At seventeen she felt herself to be called by God to some unnamed great cause. Florence's mother, Fanny was a domineering woman who was primarily concerned with finding her daughter a good husband. She was therefore upset by Florence's decision to reject Lord Houghton's offer of marriage. Florence refused to marry several suitors, and at the age of twenty-five told her parents she wanted to become a nurse. Her parents were totally opposed to the idea as nursing was associated with working class women.The American Nurses Association (ANA), says that nursing, is "often described as an art and a science, nursing is a profession that embraces dedicated people with varied interests, strengths and passions because of the many opportunities the profession offers."
What an accurate description of nursing. I think back to my experiences as a nurse and the nurses that I have worked alongside through the years. We are a colorful bunch ! Especially the night shift. (you know who you are....)
Last night, I had some trouble going to sleep and as I lay there, I reflected upon some very momentous occasions that I had as a nurse. (not all are heart felt and gushy....some are gross and gushy).
- Watching a baby being delivered for the first time.
- As a student, massaging a new Mom's uterus after delivery. All the while, the "real nurse" was telling me to do it harder. And all the while, thinking....that has GOT to hurt. Well, I did find out personally, years later, that it DOES hurt. But all for the better good.
- Being kicked, by a patient, HARD in my chest. So hard that the med pump AND I went crashing into the wall. I was young and resilient. Jumped up and said, "I'm OK!"
- Listening to a dedicated wife, of many years, sing "Amazing Grace" to her husband, as he took his last breaths.
- Seeing an open-heart surgery for the first time. Standing on a stool for hours, next to the cardiovascular surgeon, as he pointed out all the vessels, structures, etc. I held my breath, like everyone else in the room, when the patient came off bypass, and we waited for his heart to start beating again.
- Christmas eve, 1993 at 6:00pm. While Mr. B and Mr. B's family were all warm & snugly in our South Dakota house, watching "Christmas Vacation".....I was digging my car out of the snow-packed drive-way to go to work from 7pm-7am. I cried the whole way there. God sent other nurses to be with me that night. To comfort me, as a new wife and new nurse, on the holiday over-night.
- The first time I gave the wrong medicine ! Ugh. As a new ICU nurse, I gave Hydromorphone instead of Morphine, to a post-op day #2, open heart patient, that just had her breathing tube removed. I sat diligently by her bedside, to make sure she didn't stop breathing. With that amount of medicine, she was certainly pain-free. I wasn't without pain and fear. As I had to tell the cardiovascular surgeon, face-to-face, what I had done. Even though I thought my mentor nurse, was horrible, I did respect him for making me own up to my mistakes. To take responsibility.
- During my Home Health rotation, in school, to a home that was infested with cock-roaches. Crawling on my shoes, my jacket, on everything. I did a "get the cooties out" dance up and down the block a few times, before getting into my car.
- The first time I did CPR on a trauma patient, while working as an ER tech in college.
- Giving a newborn baby a bath, just hours after he was born.
- Being an adjunct professor (at my Alma-mater) to senior nursing students, on the Post-Critical care floor. Being one of their pin-cushion to practice starting IVs.
- Being with the doctor in the "little room" outside of the ER or the ICU, as the doctor tells the family, "I am sorry, we did all that we could".
- Getting my commercial driver's license, to drive the 40-foot Mobile Blood Bank Bus.
- Being SO tired after a double-shift (3pm - 7am), that I attempted to repeatedly get into the wrong white truck, to go home. That's a story all in itself, one that Mr. B loves to tell.
- Successfully starting an IV on an adult, and eventually on an infant.
- As I put a large tube down a very young woman's throat, and gave her activated charcoal, I wondered......how did she eat that much D-Con Rat poisoning.....and what led her to this point.
- To pray with a family, as their Dad and husband, was going to have surgery that he was not expected to survive.
Here's a "shout out" to you !
Please share some of your Nurse memories.