Please Thank Your Nurse

I finally decided to get on the bandwagon and start watching Grey’s Anatomy.  I had seen a few episodes here and there, but it never held my interest.  There are just some shows that don’t matter unless you watch from the beginning and form attachments to the characters.  How I Met Your Mother is one of those shows, and for me, Grey’s Anatomy turns out to be another one.  I’m totally hooked now, thanks to Netflix.

Even though the show focuses on surgical interns/residents who are all officially doctors, a nurse is featured every now and then.  The doctors, who are the beloved main characters of the show sort of make fun of the nurses and don’t always treat them so nicely.  I don’t think I would even notice that they do that if I hadn’t spent so much time in the hospital.

I sincerely hope that none of you ever find yourself spending any length of time in a hospital.  They are not fun places to be, and it seems these days, with all the crazy infections running rampant in the world, each day is sort of a gamble once you’re inside.  That said, should you fall ill or injured and have to be admitted, thank every single nurse you have every single day.

No disrespect to doctors.  Doctors are amazingly knowledgable people who save lives every day.  They do crazy procedures under crazy amounts of pressure, and they have to deal with our often unrealistic expectations.  Doctors are great.  We need them.

Without nurses, however, we would all be completely screwed.  Nurses are the ones who monitor us 24 hours a day.  Nurses are the ones who understand the situation as it is happening.  Nurses do unpleasant things for us like clean up our vomit and urine (and feces, but let’s not talk about feces).  They also help us communicate to doctors because they know the lingo and we usually don’t.  I feel like nurses are the ones truly running the hospital, just like most military folk will tell you that the enlisted guys are the ones who make it all happen in the end, not the officers.  

During my hospital stay last May, I had a team of incredible nurses.  Kelly held my hand and cried with me while we waited for the pharmacy to get their act together and deliver the meds that could help me through the pain.  Then she cleaned me up when I threw up all over myself.  Iwona cheered me on as I learned to walk again, and each time I made it one step further than the previous day, she found a new and special reward for me.  Char helped me through my first shower and snuck me a razor so I could shave my legs and feel somewhat civilized.  Scott went to bat for me when a doctor was being disrespectful towards both me and my family.  Jinda videotaped me as I had a seizure and then begged to get better so she could show a doctor that I wasn’t faking my symptoms.  For the rest of my life, I will be thankful for those nurses.  I didn’t want to be in that stupid hospital, but they made the experience tolerable.  When I have a memory of being in pain or of remembering something flippant and terrible a doctor said to me, I remember the nurses and I feel better.

They are the reason I still have hope.  They saw something in me and told me not to give up.

So thank your nurse.  Or anyone you know who is a nurse.  And tip your waitresses.  It’s the right thing to do, and if you think a waitress retaliating by spitting in your food is bad, just think of what a nurse could do…

Has a nurse ever done something outstanding for you?



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