Today is international National Nurses Day and every year I celebrate this along with all my nursing colleagues, especially since the beginning of the covid pandemic during which we have seen many loses of the people who care for people.
Having been a nurse for over thirty-five years I am proud to say I have been able to enjoy all aspects of nursing throughout my career.
What was originally looking after people who were ill in hospital as a student nurse, providing basic nursing care whilst gleaning as much information from the nurses that would be training all of us students.
Since the 1980s nursing has evolved to become a highly responsible, accountable, clinical career where nurses rarely get the opportunity to give basic nursing care, many are trained to give what would have been considered the responsibilities that a doctor would have provided back in the eighties.
I am a great believer that being a carer or nurse is something that you are born with, it is not just anybody that can have such a good rapport with someone that they look forward to seeing you when you see them to wash their back or dress their wounds, it is innate.
My best nursing moments are so immense that I would not know where to start.
Simple things like giving hugs (pre-covid of course) to the patients that came for regular B12 injections in the surgery, reassuring a young lady having her first smear then her tearfully thanking you when it is all done saying it wasn’t so bad , confidently giving vaccinations to toddler and they not shedding a tear as you did it well. Settling someone’s pain after an operation with the right prescribed medication and healing a long existing wound by finding the right treatment. All of which give satisfaction to make you feel like you make a real difference to that person.
Finally, all the thankyous, thankyou letters from relatives when you have looked after, tomatoes from the garden from grateful patients, the satisfaction on talking to someone when they say that you have helped them with their anxieties and holding someone’s hand just because they take comfort in it.
Every year I have a dahlia that flowers in September reminding me of a grateful patient who gave it to me as a thankyou for listening to him when he exploded with angry emotion when he was at the end of his tether whilst trying to care for his wife who had dementia, he was a carer and to the end of his wife’s life he gave his every minute of love and care.
My worst ever scenario as a nurse was going into a patient’s home and finding that he had passed away in his bed. I was shocked and devastated. I had left this lovely man eating his sausage and mash on the promise of packing to go to his family for a Christmas break the next day. His daughters arrived at the home as the paramedics, they were composed and thankful to me for the care that I had given to him over the months.
This, I can say with my hand on my heart, was the best care that I could have given. The same care and consideration that I would have given to my parents or children, this is what makes a good nurse or carer. These are just some of the things that stand out in my mind as to why I am still a nurse.