I come from a family of nurses. My mom, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and all of my aunts and cousins, and extended family are nurses.
Growing up in a family of nurses, here is what I’ve learned about them:
1. Nurses have an unbelievable work ethic.
One eight-hour shift is never enough. They are always readily available, when the hospital or nursing home calls them in need of extra help, even after they’ve worked a 12-hour shift.
2. Nurses are advocates for their patients.
Nurses will fight for their patients, and will question the doctor and challenge the administration, if they feel that their patient’s care is being compromised.
3. Nurses are extremely detail oriented.
They will catch errors on medical orders that might have otherwise have been missed.
4. Nurses understand the importance of customer service.
My mom taught me the art of customer service, when caring for my elderly clients. Always introduce yourself. Make eye contact. Speak slowly, taking great care in emphasizing your words. Address the client as Mr., Mrs., Sir, or Madam, and explain what is going to happen next (step-by-step) during your time with them.
5. Nurses are never “off.”
“Snow days,” “State of Emergency,” or “Holidays” are not part of their vocabulary. They pack their overnight bags and hunker down in the hospital or nursing home, when they know that the next shift might not make it in. Nurses are always working on Christmas, New Year’s, and Thanksgiving, and they spend the holidays with their extended family (the medical staff at the hospital) and the patients for which they are caring.
So, as a daughter of a fellow nurse, thank you to all of the nurses out there. Thank you for sacrificing your own time with your family to care for others. Thank you for advocating for your patients, and for your compassion and dedication in always ensuring that your patients get the best care possible. We, our society) could not survive without you.