Shelly Lopez Gray, an RN and blogger for The Huffington Post and Adventures of a Labor Nurse, recently wrote about the struggles that all nurses face, regardless of their specialty. We thought her words might ring true for you and serve as an inspiration, so we’ve included some of our favorite excerpts below.
The day-in and day-out:
Working in labor and delivery is everything you think it would be. It’s sweet and inspiring. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and miraculous. But OB is not all about babies and banners and bubblegum shaped like cigars. Labor and delivery can be heartbreaking. It can be so gut-wrenching that we sometimes leave work with our stomach in knots and our blood pressure pounding in our ears. Sometimes we leave work so angry our hands will shake the entire way home. Sometimes we leave work so unbelievably sad our whole body feels heavy and weighed with an emotional toll that can drag even the best obstetrical nurse down. But every day we come back and we do our very best to take care of our patients.
If you are a nurse—if you are any type of nurse—know that you are not alone. You aren’t pulling and pushing and lifting patients for the money. You aren’t holding someone’s head as they vomit or cleaning them up when they don’t make it to the bathroom because you wanted four days off in one week. We aren’t taking care of people who spit at us, throw things at us and try to kick us when we get too close because we need the abuse. We do this because we have a need to help people. We do this for the love of our patients and for the love of our babies. We do this because someone has to provide care, and we hope that the care we provide changes something for someone. I’m not rolling in money. I don’t get four days off in one week. Sometimes I’m surrounded by beauty and sometimes I leave work so sad that there are so many ugly things our patients or our babies are faced with. But I still come back to work and I’m so proud to say I’m a nurse, because I know that something I have done for someone along the way has maybe made a difference.
So to any patient out there, know that your nurse gives each and every one of you everything they have. We don’t care where you’re from or how educated you are. We don’t care how much money you have or if we speak the same language. Our only goal is to take care of you and your baby to the best of our abilities.
Her powerful closing:
We must be kind to each other, we must be kind to the people that we serve and we cannot ever forget that despite all of our struggles, labor and delivery is still breathtakingly beautiful.
Read the entire story over on The Huffington Post and then, in the comments below, tell us your thoughts on the common fears and problems all nurses face.