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Every nurse feels appreciated, loved, and valued…right? While we’d like to think that this is the case, there may be some nurses out there who aren’t exactly feeling the love. The stressful nature of their shifts may be getting them down, making them rethink their chosen career path and wondering if they made the right choice. After all, nurses often see patients and their family members at their absolute worst, all while making due with being short-staffed, exhausted, and unable to take that much-needed bathroom break for what feels like an eternity. What they thought was going to be a Florence Nightingale type of job has ended up falling short of their expectations. So, let’s backtrack a bit and rephrase—every nurse DESERVES to feel appreciated, loved, and valued, and we’re going to tell you why. It’s National Nurses Week, and our mission is to remind the world why nurses are amazing, while also reminding each nurse why we appreciate them so much! After all, nurses, you’re basically rock stars.
Here are four basic reasons why nurses deserve our appreciation, respect, and an entire week dedicated solely to how awesome they are. We think you’ll agree.
Let’s face it, nurses see, smell, touch, and clean up things that most of us wouldn’t be able to handle without adding to the mess ourselves. When you’re a parent cleaning up after your child, it’s still gross, but you don’t mind doing it because you love the poor little guy or girl. Even now I can still remember my own mother gagging as she cleaned fresh throw-up off her new couch, all while telling me how sorry she was that I had a belly-ache. However, when it’s a stranger…that takes a special individual. I, myself, know my limits, and simply writing about those things behind the safety of my computer is enough for me! Although there are many nurses who don’t have to do much clean-up at the advanced stage they’re now at in their careers, many, if not all of them started out at the bottom rung of the ladder dealing with more bodily fluids than they ever thought possible. For that, we commend you!
When a nurse is on the clock, there is a very good chance that they are running ragged for just about their entire shift, oftentimes working without a full lunch break, and with bathroom breaks few and far between. As a former teacher, I know the pain of holding my bladder for hours before finally being able to flee the classroom, and let me tell you—it’s no fun. For nurses, this is not at all uncommon. Patients are their top priority, and when they have scads of them who need immediate attention, it doesn’t leave room for much else, especially that daily recommended water intake.
Any nurse with a rotating schedule knows the frustration of their social life taking the occasional hit. Weekends don’t mean the same thing to you as they do to your non-nurse friends, and “TGIF” can sound like a foreign phrase. There are events and get-togethers that you will inevitably miss out on, and the summer months and holidays can feel especially brutal. For nurses with kids, this can feel even more frustrating when they can’t make it to every school function or sporting event. However, despite these sacrifices, nurses put their frustrations aside and focus all of their efforts on their patients, even when there is somewhere else they want to be.
Not to mention, even when they are enjoying off-time, they are always playing the role of nurse. Nurses, how many times have you found yourself at a social gathering answering people’s health-related questions, or looking at someone’s questionable mole? I’m willing to bet it happens more often than you’d prefer.
On a serious note, you may have seen a video trending on social media lately, where comedian and late night television host, Jimmy Kimmel, discusses the frightening and heartbreaking details of his newborn son, Billy’s, first few days of life. If you haven’t yet seen it, I challenge you to watch Jimmy telling his story without getting choked up or even bursting into tears. Go ahead and take a look…I’ll wait.
Political discussions aside, if you are, or are about to be a parent, the horror Jimmy and his wife experienced the day their son was born is something that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. What might be the most terrifying of all is that they were under the impression that everything was fine, and had no idea of the danger that was lurking right in front of their eyes. If it wasn’t for their godsend of a nurse, Billy’s story may have ended much differently. Their nurse played the pivotal role of detecting a complication and saving the baby’s life, and Jimmy’s transparent story and ‘thank you’ to the nurses and doctors who made it possible just might be one of the most touching things you see for a while.
Ultimately, there are a myriad of reasons as to why nurses deserve a round of applause, but we think these four really drive the message home for just about anyone. Nurses have one of the hardest, and yet most rewarding jobs in the world, and at some point we will all need their care or expertise. If you are a nurse, we can’t thank you enough for all of the hard and selfless work that you consistently do. If you aren’t a nurse, remember to always be kind to and appreciative of those who are taking care of you, not just during National Nurses Week, but always.
Happy National Nurses Week, everyone!
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Author: Michelle Adams