How Nurses Make A Huge Difference

In honor of this year’s National Nurses Week, I’d like to give credit to all the nurses I’ve encountered during my life who have offered me extraordinary care. I have a special place in my heart for nurses. As the daughter of a registered nurse (RN), I have a lifetime of memories of the relationships between patients and their nurses. I have tried to be mindful of this each time I’ve been hospitalized, because I realize that nurses make the difference between a good and bad stay at the hospital.

What Makes a Great Nurse

Nurses Week is a great time to reflect upon my experiences with wonderful nurses. The American Nurses Association defines nursing as “the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.” The best way for me to express this definition is through the real-life encounters I’ve had with practicing nurses.

This past summer, I ended up in the emergency room. I presumed they would smack me on the hand, give me some medicine, and send me home. I had been experiencing severe diabetic symptoms, including headaches, blurred vision, extreme thirst, and fatigue. When I tested my glucose level, it was too high to measure at home, so I hurried to the hospital to be checked out. I was very surprised to learn my glucose was over 600 (a severely high level) and I was very dehydrated. Needless to say, I was admitted to intensive care immediately.

Easing Tension

What can I say about the nursing staff? They were on top of their game. My admitting nurse was very understanding and gentle with me. She explained everything she did and answered all my questions to my satisfaction. Her calming composure soothed my worries and assured me during a high-tension situation. She started my IV with no problems, administered the ordered medications, and eased my pain by massaging my tight shoulders. She even allowed me to sleep through the night with little to no interruption. I was so grateful for the rest.

The day nurse was equally professional. One thing that stood out about her was her concern for my personal hygiene. I didn’t have to ask to be cleaned up, and she made sure I had toiletries and bathing necessities. She and the nursing staff appeared to be genuinely concerned about my needs. My family of advocates, who were standing by, didn’t have to lift a finger or raise a concern. The nursing staff was fully committed to caring for me.

As the first line of contact, the nurse is very important to the healing process. I appreciate the nursing profession because nurses make a strong commitment to helping others get better as they nurse them back to health. They really do make all the difference during some tough situations!

Image source: Flickr