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I See You… As a Nurse

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You haven’t been able to eat since getting admitted, surgery isn’t until tomorrow afternoon. You’re starving. I see you.

You walk to the bathroom with tears in your eyes because your family member is sick and not getting better. I see you.

I walk by the hall to grab water for a patient and see you taking your first steps since surgery. You’re scared, but smiling. I see you.

You just had a baby a couple weeks ago and this is your first time being apart because you’ve been admitted with pneumonia. It’s breaking your heart. I see you.

Your uncle just coded and the team brought him back. There is fear in your eyes and relief in your tears. I see you.

Your husband is falling apart and no one can tell you why. He doesn’t recognize you and is getting aggressive. The pain shows itself on your face. I see you.

You had cancer in your mouth and though the surgery saved you, your face will never look the same. You stare in the mirror touching your swollen jaw wondering if it’s permanent. I see you.

You’re just starting to piece together what has happened to you since waking up from your coma… still confused and still mourning the loss of your son. I see you.

You tried to take your life, but were saved against your will. Now you sport nasty scars to forever remind you of your pain and what happened. I see you.

You’ve lost your job, you have no insurance, but you’re very sick and the doctors don’t know when you will get to leave. You’re very frustrated and worried. I see you.

No one is listening to you when you tell them how much pain you are in. You lay in bed crying from the physical pain, but also from the emotional pain of being labeled a “drug seeker”. I see you.

You have no medical background and the doctors and nurses keep using large scary sounding words to describe your condition. You’re too afraid to ask because you don’t want to sound stupid. I see you.

You’ve always been an independent person and never relied on others for help, but you don’t have the strength to clean yourself after using the bathroom. You’re overwhelmingly embarrassed. I see you.

You haven’t spoken to your mom in years, but feel responsible for her condition. If you had only known she was struggling… the doctor keeps asking you to sign DNR papers… you blame yourself. I see you.

Your daughter has woken up from her coma, you were told she’d never recover. She looks at you and says “I love you”. I see you.

I am your nurse. I see when you are hurting, when you are frustrated, when you are elated. I share in those moments with you and even though you may not realize it, I do see you. I may not have met you, I may not be working down your wing, but I see you.

I may have only been your nurse once, but I pray for you every day. You will never know how much you’ve impacted me and how much my heart feels with yours. I’m with you. I’m holding space for you.

I see you.
Written by:
Krystal Weber, BS, BSN, RN

Sanford Health

Pulmonary

Nursing is my second career and I am madly in love with the profession. I’m a staff nurse on my floor, a clinical instructor, and formal preceptor. I adore teaching, learning, and being present with my patients and co-workers. My previous career was in benchside research – yes with beakers and lab coats.

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