Hmmmmmmmm. Where does one begin?
I want to reach other human beings so I guess my subject options are pretty wide open. I told a friend what my assignment was and she suggested I write with her in mind. I thought that was a darn good idea. Her name is Base and she is a nurse. That made me think about nurses I have met and interacted with. Nurses are people too is the first thing to come to this kooky brain when I think of the word.
I once worked with a lot of nurses. It was a hospital like setting. An institution really. We depended on the nurses for quite a bit. The nurses were IT in this setting. They were the people to go to whenever there was a problem. During the day we had doctors and administration, but when they left, the nurses were in charge. Funny though I think the nurses were in charge even before those people left. We just didn’t let anyone know that. When in doubt, ask the nurse seemed to be the rule.
Recently I had a lot of exposure to nurses in a different type of setting. I participated in treatments for depression that needed to be done in a hospital atmosphere. The nurses here had less power, but just as much if not more responsibility as the ones I had worked with. I noticed that they worked together to get everything done. I do not think they would have been able to complete all of their tasks had they not been a team. I also noticed they weren’t just nurses, they were secretaries as well. Everything is on computer today and every time I went there, the nurses would have to check the computer to make sure everything was kosher. Sometimes the computers worked, sometimes they did not. It did not matter if the computer was not working, they still had the same jobs to do. Again, the nurses worked together to get it all done. About an hour after I got there, the doctors would start showing up. The nurses have already been working for well over an hour and Lord everything better be ready for the doctors. It would not have mattered if the computers were malfunctioning or 3 patients took extra time or a patient was screaming about anything, Everything best be done when those doctors arrived. I don’t think I ever saw my Doctor acknowledge a single nurse unless they said something first. I do not think he was aware of all that they had done to prepare me for him. He did not seem to care to know.
Well I cared. Each week I saw all they had to do and I noticed how little they got thanked for it. They weren’t just nurses doing a job, they were human beings caring for other human beings. They were people taking care of people. And I will be honest, some of those people could be difficult to care for. Yes they did their job, and they did it well. They dealt with the computers, started IV’s, took vital signs, etc. They also got me an extra warm blanket when I was cold, they remembered that when I was ready I liked the lights dim, they calmed me down when I was so anxious I was ready to rip the IV out of my hand. When the Doctor got there, he could see I was medically ready for my procedure, but he was clueless as to what that actually entailed.
I had my last treatment a week ago. I went to this appointment with one thing in mind. To thank the people I interacted with all this time, and to show them they were appreciated. They made a difference in my life and I thought they should know that. Each time I went there, they helped me in so many ways that they did not realize. I wanted them to be aware of all that they did for just one patient, so I wrote it all down in the form of a letter. I wanted them to see that even the tiniest, simplest thing they did for me made a difference and did not go unnoticed. They helped me remain calm, they helped me laugh, they made me feel comfortable, they made me believe that everything would be okay. I felt I had to do this not because I thought they were treated badly, they were treated with indifference. I wanted these nurses to know how very important they really were to me.
They may not be told it every day, or week, or month for that matter, but they deserve to hear that they make a difference. If they remembered that the last time I had an IV, I did not like “the spray”, that meant a lot. If they listened to me long enough to know to ask, “Is Jax with you or your Mom?” that meant a lot. If they talked and joked with me enough to figure out we were neighbors that meant a lot. If they rushed me out of one room and to “the room” just to get me away from the perfume stench that meant a lot. I appreciate each and every one of them. Not everyone takes the time to let them know how important they are, but they should. Nurses efforts do not go unnoticed. I can see how being a nurse, they have to put up with a lot. They are dealing with sick, hurting, irritable people. They deserve our thanks not our frustrations. . They deserve our appreciation not our vomit.
So I was suppose to write keeping my readers in mind. I guess today my readers are nurses, doctors, and any human being who has ever been a patient. My goal remains to make people laugh so I know the nurses won’t say it and I can answer with a borrowed song.