It is. This week is mine and every single nurse out there whom you have the pleasure to know…or perhaps the displeasure, because more often than not when you encounter a nurse, a REAL nurse, not a medical technician in your doctor’s office, you aren’t having much fun and likely not feeling well at all. You are probably scared and in a lot of pain and the last thing you feel like doing is making friends or making small talk with a total stranger wearing scrubs.
photo credit: Jackie Smith Barnard
It’s okay. We understand because, more often than not, we meet this way. You or your loved one is critically ill and we are busy saving you or your loved one’s life. We don’t judge. We do what we do because we care. We care a lot.
I imagine that most of you probably aren’t worrying too much about how we look. I mean you are probably scared and in a lot of pain; or you are stressed and worried about someone you love who is scared, stressed, doesn’t feel well and is in a lot of pain. So in spite of some conclusions drawn from March 2012 study of Patients’ Perception of Patient Care Providers with Tattoos and/or Body Piercings that surveyed only 150 patients in a rural Georgia hospital, you don’t doubt our caring, confidence, reliability, attentiveness, cooperativeness, professionalism, efficiency and approachability. No, I imagine that if you are like me as a patient or the loved one of the patient or like my patients’ families you just want the assurance that I am well trained, educated and good at what I do…being a nurse who does care, is confident, is reliable, is VERY attentive, cooperative, professional, efficient and approachable…in spite of a nurse’s tattoos or piercings or hair color that is not natural.
Yeah, I got a little distracted.
In all seriousness, it is indeed Nurses’ Week today through Florence Nightingale’s 193rd birthday…Yay, Flo!
The point of this week isn’t all about gifts of coffee mugs or badge holders or massages (seriously the BEST nurses’ week gift I ever received…ever!) or dollar store calculators or even free Cinnabons (at a participating Cinnabon near you…the key word is PARTICIPATING Cinnabon). No, it is about you and me taking the time to thank a nurse who might have saved our life or a loved one’s life or who put up with us at our very worst when we were sick or injured. This I try to do. They might not remember me or my family…or perhaps they have chosen to purposely forget me…but I send a simple card reminding them of my hospital visit or my loved one’s and then thanking them for taking such good care of me or my loved one.
Really, that is all most nurses want…just a thank you. Trust me we don’t go into this vocation because we like feeling physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted most of the time or because we relish the long hours and holidays away from our families or because we LOVE bodily fluids that sometimes end up on our scrubs or our shoes and we definitely don’t do what we do for the Cinnabons or the cheap calculators or yet another coffee mug or badge holder or even for the massages…although the massages are super awesome and most definitely appreciated.
Just thank a nurse and tell them that they are awesome because they are!
Also be sure to check out Anna’s week long celebration of Nurses’ Week and for a good laugh, especially if you are a nurse, check out Nurse Eye Roll.
Note: if anyone would like to see the full text of the Journal of Nursing Administration article whose link I shared and not pay the $49 to see it like I had to email me privately.