Nurses

I think I might have a different mentality than many people about nurses. I guess I’ll find out when people read this post. I’ve had a ton of experience with nurses, both within the confines of medical facilities and out. Being a type 1 diabetic I have spent a lot of time in doctor’s offices, ER’s, and hospital rooms. I have many friends who are nurses, and my very own mother is a retired nurse.

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Mom’s nursing graduation.

As patients we deal with nurses more than with the doctors. The nurses guide us, take our information, take our vitals, perform many procedures. They do a whole lot that we don’t even see. Nurses have to run around and get from point A to point B to point C to point D, all in a moment’s time and while remembering a ton of information for a ton of different patients. Nurses have as much paperwork to fill out as they do physical work.  Every little thing must be documented. Nurses must be able to help the patients and inform and assist the doctor’s. Nurses work loooong hours mostly on their feet, and often skip breaks in order to keep up with their workload.

In short, nurses care, nurses organize, nurses support, nurses communicate, nurses save lives.

I strongly believe nurses tend to be underrated (and underpaid).  A good nurse is any nurse who knows their stuff and does their job as it is meant to be done, and does it with compassion and a gentle nature.  I also believe many of the good nurses know much more than they learned in school; well, that is what real world experience tends to do for us, right?

Yes, there are those nurses we all encounter that bring us to think, “Geez, that nurse needs to go back to school”.  I’ve certainly encountered my share.  But this post isn’t about the negative nurse experience; it’s about praising the good nurses in this world.

When I was in the hospital recovering from open heart surgery, I had the most wonderful experience with multiple nurses. Each and every one of them were very kind, compassionate, gentle, and knowledgeable.  They didn’t see me as just a patient, I was a real living person.  They talked to me about things other than medical stuff.  And they talked to me about themselves, television, travel, animals, food, everything. They were positive and never lectured me on health. They always explained what they were doing, what medication they were giving me, and what was about to happen, so I never felt out of the loop or nervous. They cheered me on when I went for a walk through the halls. They made me feel good. And even though I knew they were busy and often short on time, they never let on that they were stressed or rushed.

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Mom in uniform 1970’s

I made sure to let each and every one of them know how wonderful they were and how grateful I was for their care and comfort.

When I was growing up I sometimes would go to work with my mom. I remember observing her work. She would spend so much time going from room to room administering medications, cleaning and maintaining feeding tubes, changing dressings, taking blood pressures, taking temperatures.  Often she would do things that weren’t even her job, like changing adult diapers, and changing soiled bedding.  She would do all of this while talking to the patients as if she were just a friend stopping by to visit.  She always set the patient at ease. It was rare that a patient didn’t light up when they saw nurse Russu walk in the room.

Mom also spent a lot of time doing “charting”. Everything had to be documented. I never spent much time hanging around while she did her paperwork. I would often go to the rec room and watch T.V. or go outside and play while mom did her charting.

Nurses are the glue that hold the medical blocks together. If there were no nurses then the doctors would be lost and the patients would die.

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Mom at work 1993

Way to go, nurses! You keep us at ease, treated, and alive!

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Author: Tamra K. Garcia

Stephen King says to "Write what you know." I know diabetes, I know me; so this is what I write about.

2 thoughts on “Nurses”

  1. Great message, Tamra! Definitely nurses are under-appreciated, and so many people slam them for “not being doctors” or just occupying space. But they keep it all going, and 95% of the time it seems all hell breaks loose and things go haywire without a nurse guiding the plays. Sure, there are bad apples and they give the rest a bad rap. But most are great, and deserve praise. Thanks for sharing your story, and all the awesome photos of your mom there! Happy Nurses Week!

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