The first story I want to share for Nurses Week is that of a critical care nurse, Stephanie Thomas Joyce. Stephanie is a Registered Nurse at Elliot Health System in New Hampshire. She wrote the featured post below recently on social media and I found her words to capture those thoughts that many nurses have running through their minds while at work caring for patients.
“After all these years as a critical care nurse, I am still humbled by what people have to deal with day in and day out. Something terrible happens in someone’s life EVERY SINGLE DAY. Every day someone’s life changes and nurses have to adapt and help those affected. As a critical care nurse, those crisis’ are amplified and no one understands it unless you have experienced it yourself. You will never understand the emotion that goes into saving a life, or NOT saving a life. Most people have absolutely no understanding what it is like and honestly most people would never be able to do what we do. To hold someone’s life in the palm of your hand is powerful yet fragile at the same time. I’m thankful to be able to sit here tonight to enjoy this view and tell my family one more time that I them. #thankthenurses #thedoctorstoo #dontforgettherespiratorytherapist #ittakesavillagetocareforalife”
To be someone’s nurse means that you are with someone during a vulnerable time in their life. I want to second what Stephanie writes in her post that it does take a team. Thank the nurses but also thank the doctors, respiratory therapists, clinical assistants, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers, and any other health care professional role group that contributes to the delivery of care to patients and their families inside and outside of the work environment.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s story around the theme of Nurses Save Lives!