Editor’s note: This is National Nurses’ Week. In spite of all the technological advances, nurses are there with a human touch. Thanks to each one of you.
Nurses work hard to take care of their patients at all costs. Through long shifts, difficult patients, time away from family, and being covered in bodily fluids they push through in order to give their patients the best care possible. Being a nurse isn’t easy; that’s never the reason for nurses to go into this field. They do it because they are passionate. In such an overwhelming field that involves so much dedication and so many emotions, it can be easy to feel overworked and underappreciated. Fortunately, there’s some inspiration in the nursing world to help nurses realize they are a rare breed and that the work they do truly makes a difference.
“Let us never consider ourselves finished nurses… we must be learning all of our lives.” – Florence Nightingale
This quote means that nurses must always strive to learn more, get better, and keep improving. When you consider yourself to be finished, then there is no room for improvement. However, there is always room to do better. The medical field is always changing and nurses must always keep learning and staying ahead of the curve. It’s empowering that nurses are always learning and getting better.
“As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
This amazing quote by Maya Angelou is incredibly uplifting and shows the difference that nurses make in patient’s lives. Nurses are naturally passionate caretakers. They spend their work days – or nights – taking care of the body of their patient as well as their minds and their families. It isn’t just about science, it’s also about compassion. Nurses should take solace that they are impacting lives, even if patients don’t know your name. They know how you helped them and it’s really making a difference.
“You treat a disease: You win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you win—no matter the outcome.” – Patch Adams
In a field where the idea is to treat the disease and the symptoms that a person has, it can be easy to forget that you are also treating a person as well. Especially since those in the medical field take so much time learning about professional distance. It can be emotionally overwhelming to get close to every patient and lose so many of them. Nurses are mastering the art of treating disease as well as the patient while keeping their head in the game. There will be times when the loss of a patient is hard or the recovery of a patient is emotional. However, ultimately nurses are changing lives by treating their patient and not just their symptoms.
“The only way to do great work is to love the work you do.” – Steve Jobs
The journey to nursing is not an easy one. Passion is absolutely necessary in order to get through the schooling, clinicals, and on-the-job tasks, especially with all the trends affecting the medical billing recently. Nurses love their jobs. There are few nurses that go into this field without passion for it. It may be difficult, it may be physical and taxing, but nurses do their jobs well and they do it with love.
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Satoro
Nursing units have a sense of community because they all rely on each other. Not only nurses, but all of the different cogs necessary to make a medical facility run smoothly are all reliant on the other. Doctors, technicians, medical assistants of all types, and even the cleaning staff all rely on each other in order to provide outstanding patient care. Individually, it can seem overwhelming to work a job that demands so much from a person. But the nursing community, and the medical community in general – is a supportive community that comes together to save thousands of lives. You may feel like one drop, but your fellow nurses create an ocean.
“Not all patients are annoying, some are unconscious.” – Author Unknown
This highlights the importance of humor in the nursing profession. Difficult patients, clueless doctors, and bodily fluids are all a part of the job that you have to joke about in order to get through it. This quote also touches on how unappreciated nurses feel with some patients. The truth is that many nurses feel this way, so there is some strength in knowing that you aren’t alone. Sometimes you just have to laugh it off. Share stories with your nursing support system, and appreciate the amazing patients that make up for the difficult ones.
“Nurses are a unique kind. They have this insatiable need to care for others, which is both their biggest strength and fatal flaw.” – Dr. Jean Watson
Compassion is a great asset for those in nursing. Nurses get into this profession in order to help others. Their ability to save lives makes them angels of sorts. However, it can be difficult to work with compassion while still remaining enough of an emotional distance from their patients to handle loss. It can be a difficult thing to balance, but it’s an asset that many nurses learn over time. Compassion is a great strength and it’s important not to let it drag you down. Some patients can’t be helped, and losses will happen. But as long as you treat your patients to the best of your ability and help them feel comfortable, it’s a win and it’s important to understand that.
Everyone needs a little inspiration in their lives in order to keep their heads level. Nurses go through it on a daily basis. Whether its sleep deprivation, hunger, emotional exhaustion, physical exhaustion, or frustration, nursing can take a toll on you. But despite all of the difficulties, nursing is an amazing profession that makes a real change in the world. Sometimes it just takes a little motivation to keep you going and to know that you’re not alone.
Chelsey Ranard is a writer from Montana who is now living in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree in 2012 from the University of Montana. She is passionate about addiction recovery advocacy, loves talk radio, and prefers her coffee iced. Follow her on Twitter!