be thankful (day 1)

11:32:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Jaclyn (@jaclynarmstrong)

11/2/12 1:21 AM

1: Thankful to have a career I can take pride in, especially when the days are exhausting and the nights are long. #nursetweets #30days

By now we have all seen the tremendous impact of Hurricane Sandy on the east coast. It is one of the most devastating natural disasters of my lifetime. So many stories have been shared of heroic efforts within communities, but the ones that always stand out to me are the stories of nurses and their efforts under horrendous circumstances. (You can read about the brave nurses that manually ventilated tiny NICU babies to safety here.) Nurses worked long exhausting hours without eating, without breaks, and without proper medical equipment to save lives. As they always do. I have never been more proud to be a nurse.

I complain about my job a lot. I complain about management and hospital administration, redundant policies, understaffing, lack of support, arrogant and impossible doctors, poor communication, etc. But the fact is, despite the shortcomings in the medical field, I love what I do. I love having a career that I can be proud of. I love the genuine appreciation I receive from patients daily, and watching patients walk out of our doors healthier and smiling after far too many days in our care. I love providing safety and companionship to an elderly dementia patient without any family. I love being a nurse.

I work on a surgical oncology unit. I'm with some patients for weeks on end as they recover from a complicated surgery. I'm with other families as they struggle with the shock and heartache of a new cancer diagnosis. I watch some patients fall apart as they live out their final days of a poor prognosis. I offer a listening ear and a helping hand, and wipe their tears away. I am humbled every day.

Nursing is such a challenging job, but also so very rewarding. I'm usually exhausted and counting down the days or hours until my next day off. But I always have great pride when I get to share what I do for a living with someone else. And that is the best part of the job.


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