Heather Sphor, a popular mommy blogger, recently wrote a story for The Huffington Post called “Our Nurse” about her experience with a nurse who helped with her preemie baby. Grab a Kleenex!
We hope you remember, even on your worst days, how important your job is and how many lives your work touches. But it’s still nice, every now and again, to read an inspirational story directly telling you how what you does makes a difference in peoples’ lives. For every patient that causes you grief, there are hundreds more who are forever thankful that YOU treated them. When you’re lucky, you actually get to hear it from them directly.
Check out an excerpt from Heather’s story below:
She was the first nurse we had the first time my former preemie Madeline was readmitted to the hospital after her NICU stay. She was the nurse closest in age to me, so I felt comfortable with her. She had a big easy smile, a quick laugh, and a gentle touch. Maddie loved her, and I did too.
The second and third times Maddie was admitted to the hospital, I would wait anxiously every morning, hoping she would be Our Nurse. ALL the nurses on the pediatric floor were wonderful, but I clicked with her. She was our favorite.
When Maddie was admitted to the PICU for her fourth hospital stay, I was disappointed when I realized the nurses were different than the ones we knew from the pediatric floor. They didn’t know us; we didn’t know them. The PICU nurses were GREAT. But it’s hard to be in the hospital, let alone intensive care, when you don’t have familiarity with the people helping you care for your sick child.
Maddie knocked out a couple of IVs and the PICU nurses and I were all frustrated. Someone mentioned calling a nurse on the peds floor to see if someone else would have better luck placing a line. I asked if Our Nurse was there. She was, and she came down. Maddie’s eyes lit up when she saw her. Mine did, too. Our Nurse got a line in right away. Unfortunately, Maddie knocked it out again a few hours later. Our Nurse came back, but this time it was much harder to find a spot to insert a new line. We decided to give Maddie a break from needle sticks and try again after a few minutes. Our Nurse left. And then the doctors decided to intubate.
I didn’t know what was happening, and things were getting frantic. Then Our Nurse came back. She came right to me, and held my hand. She narrated what was happening, and explained the new things like intraosseous IVs and epinephrine. When I would shake and cry and panic because Maddie’s heart was slowing down and her blood gas was dropping, she would calm me and say that Maddie was strong and a fighter, and this was nothing she couldn’t beat. It wasn’t a line — she believed it. When I would mutter and pray and beg and plead, she did too. We begged and plead and prayed and clutched hands for the worst three hours of my life. And when the doctors told us there was nothing more they could do, she helped pick me up off the ground when I collapsed.
I looked in her face and I said, “Why, why Maddie, why my baby?” And she said, “I don’t know why it was our girl.” And she cried and cried with us.
Several months after Madeline’s death, Our Nurse found me. I was standing in the lobby of another hospital when I looked up and was surprised to see her standing before me. She went on to speak earnestly about the impact Maddie had on her life, and how she would never, ever forget her. This meant more to me than she could have ever realized.
To read the rest of her story, head on over to The Huffington Post. Then, in the comments below, tell us how your patients have showed their thanks recently.