Sure, all nurses have had some bad days on the job that they’d like to forget, but they’ve also had days that they will remember for the rest of their careers—and their lives. We asked our Facebook fans which day they would choose if they could time-travel to any previous day on the job. Check out their heartfelt, touching responses below.
The day I was working at WMH as a unit coordinator awaiting my board results when—TA-DA!!! My “boss” showed me my license! I HAD PASSED!
—Patty Ann McGee
The first patient I had who coded on me…I was a newer nurse and was too scared of the doctor to argue with him, even though I knew exactly what the patient needed. I ended up calling a rapid response on him, and the ICU doc who came over for that ordered the med I knew the patient needed, but by then it was too late. He coded shortly after I called the rapid response and we lost him. Lesson learned: Sometimes you gotta be tough as nails to be a good patient advocate.
I would go back to the early days when I was a nurse’s aide and worked on the same med/surg floor as my mama, who was a nurse. She has been gone six years now and I still miss her every day. She taught me more about compassion, respect and work ethics than I ever learned in school. Thank you Mama.
—Marcy Honea Fussell
I was working as an agency nurse on a med-surg floor one winter day when I had the privilege of caring for a frail, elderly gentleman who was losing his sight to macular degeneration. He was a very soft-spoken, polite man who always said thank you, and was one of those patients that you know to keep an extra eye on because he would never ask for anything, even if he needed it. I had set him up to eat his lunch, and while I was making rounds on my other patients, it started to snow. When I went back to check on this gentleman, he was just looking out the window with the most peaceful look on his face. When I asked if he wanted to get back to bed to rest, he said no and that he had always loved to watch the snow fall, even when he was a little boy. That moment has always stuck with me. This gentleman was slowly losing his sight, but instead of being angry and mournful, he just continued to cherish the joy his sight still gave him. The memory of the peace and joy on his face brings a smile to my face every time I think about it.
—Cathy Barkate Anderson
I would go back maybe before DRGs or just after (about 1986). Units had staff but were not based on acuity. Many nurses stayed on their units for years. We had busy days and some down times when we could discuss cases and really get to know each other. We were better teams then, I think…I miss those days.
—Connie McCarty Louden
I have been a Neonatal ICU nurse for 30 years, and I would go back to any day where I got to place a tiny, sick infant in a mom’s arms—who has been waiting for weeks to feel that miracle, always wondering if her baby would survive long enough for her to ever get that chance—for the first time. It still brings me to tears of joy and a feeling of honor to be allowed to share that precious moment.
I work in LTC. We had a male hospice patient who was able to get around in a wheelchair. One day, he was in the dining room trying to get coffee. He started to couch violently. Then he started to hemorrhage. He was coughing up copious amounts of blood. We had to get him out of the dining room as quickly as we could while trying to protect the other residents and staff from blood splatter. I remember the look on his face as he looked up at us. It was a look I will never forget. He wasn’t able to speak. His eyes were seeking comfort. And we failed him. We should have prayed with him and comforted him. If I could go back to that day, I would. I would have prayed with him and for him. I would have told him, “It’s okay. Don’t be afraid. God is with you.”
—Sandra Rojas Chamberlain
I would go back to the very first delivery that I witnessed as a student nurse. I felt the emotion, the joy and the power of a miracle wash over me. Many years later, I still love my job as an OB nurse. God leads us to the place that we need to be and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
If you could time-travel back to any day on the job, which day would you choose and why?
For more Inspiration and Stories pick up the latest issue of Scrubs magazine, available at a retail store near you!