There are many of them, but two in particular stand out for me. They involve patients I have taken care of (of course).
The first patient story I have blogged about previously. Here is an excerpt:
During all of my â€˜normal’ routines, this particular patient ever-so slightly placed her warm hand on my forearm, and with the stare of appreciation she calmly and quietly said,” You have a wonderful bedside manner. Thank You. You’re a good nurse”.
It caught me off guard for a few seconds, and now looking back on it.. I think I was staring at her. I politely smiled and gave the most genuine thank you I could create, as I continued about my responsibilities.
In my heart, I wanted to give her a great big bear hug and tell how much she made my day… to tell her that her kind words had validated all my efforts to become and be the nurse I am today.
Here is the original blog post from My Strong Medicine : A Good Feeling. The recognition I got from that patient that day lifted my spirits in ways I cannot describe.
My other equally joyous moment as a nurse came from a former patient who came back to visit the staff on our unit months after she had been discharged. The short version of this patient’s journey involved a near-death experience, mechanical ventilation, vasopressor medication drips, multiple surgeries, sepsis, etc. She was about as unstable as they get. She pulled through and survived. She had stayed in our ICU for quite some time, and I cared for her during the most unstable moments. She eventually transferred to a regular floor, spent some time at a rehab facility and was currently home doing better every day.
That particular day I was in a patient room, when I could hear a familiar voice ask for me by name. I couldn’t make out the voice, but I knew I recognized it. A fellow staff member notified me I had a visitor at the nurses station. I wrapped up my duties in the room and walked out to the nurses station. As I rounded the corner I knew who the gentleman was immediately, but the spry woman next to him seemed vaguely familiar? It was her! The gentleman was her husband.
She took a skipping step towards me and hugged me so hard that I nearly lost my breath from her choking me. We exchanged hugs full of tears, smiles and laughter. She of course did not remember me due to her condition at the time, but she heard all about me and the care I gave her. Her husband chimed in with stories filled with more tears and smiles. I was ‘hiccup-crying’ by the time she said, “Thank you. I’m here because of you”.
Her face and her words still tug at my heart to this very day.
Why did I become a nurse? Because of moments like these.