Break Room

“Nurse draws strength from patients in epic mountain climb” – Did you read it?


There is nothing we love much more than a sweet nursing story in the media, and we recently came across one that fits the bill perfectly!
Julie Simmons, a Charlotte, N.C. nurse, recently hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro. She wasn’t prepared for how tough it was going to be, and told local news outlets upon her return of how she had to draw strength from her patients as she made her way through the trek.

Watch WCNC’s video of the story here:

Here are some excerpts from the article:

“It was so much harder than I thought; the altitude messes with your head a lot, you struggle to breathe,” Julie Simmons says. 

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was a total bucket list adventure for the trauma nurse at Carolinas Healthcare Systems.

“It sounded like it was gonna be a cool thing, and it was. However, I completely underestimated exactly how hard it was going to be.”

She drew strength from people that were thousands of miles away: her patients.

“I started out thinking it was gonna be just hiking on their behalf; it ended up being a lot more than that. I don’t think I would have gotten up there if it wasn’t for the constant encouragement and reminders looking down at my poles.”

And it concludes…

Simmons gestures to a stack of cards sitting on the table in front of her. 

“These are encouragement cards that were given to me by the trauma survivor network,” she explains.

The hiking group often gathered at Julie’s tent to read the cards after a tough day.

“There were plenty of times I wanted to give up, especially on summit night, it was dark and 17 below and I couldn’t breathe very well, but I think harnessing that fear, which is something I think the trauma survivors have also inspired me with, and to use it for a goal, that is so worth it in the end…I just kept thinking of the things they do in their own personal journey which really got me to the top.”

It’s a journey she says parallels her patients.

Read the entire story here, then tell us what you think in the comments below. Have you ever had to draw strength from your patients to get through a hard time?

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