The holidays can be rough.
The hospitals are full with patients who need care, & the staffing is short because of co-workers who are not there....
This holiday season is unusual for me. I am currently with family due to illness, so enjoying doing some private duty nursing & family support this holiday season. But traditionally, this is the time of year when I like to look around the ridiculously full hospital (while I'm doing a million things, haven't had a break & may or may not have peed in the last 11 hours) & focus on all the awesome reasons why I have #nursegratitude.
What is "nurse gratitude"? Great question! Nurse gratitude is the thankful feeling that I get for all things nursing. This can be for simple things like coffee & gloves (essential for each & every shift). Or it can be for things like social workers & child life specialists who make terrible situations more manageable with their wizard-like skills (I LOVE ALL YOU SOCIAL WORKERS & CHILD LIFE FOLKS). Today, I just wanted to focus on the general aspects of nursing that make me so full of nurse gratitude.
Here is the Top 5 on my Nurse Gratitude List -
This job has allowed me to travel the world, be available for my family in times of crisis, take classes & start a new business. I have worked full-time, part-time & PRN. As an ER nurse, I have worked ALLLLLL the shifts which has freed me up for many educational, personal & professional opportunities. My colleagues have been able to be daytime parents & nighttime workers, full-time students, fulfilling passion projects & a few have been seasonal athletes while still being fully employed three days a week. There are few jobs with greater flexibility than nursing. Cheers to Saturday on a Tuesday.
2. We have the best stories.
When at a party, dinner out or just a gathering of folks, nurses will always have the best stories. I hate the question, "What is the craziest thing you have ever seen?". Normal folks aren't ready for the real crazy. I usually give them a watered-down rectal foreign body story that gets a lot of giggles & then we move on. What I love is hearing that someone else is in the healthcare field & then getting to compare war stories. Healthcare workers, but nurses especially, have the best, most incredibly, "you can't make this sh*t up" stories. They are best not for general consumption, but get a few jaded nurse hearts together with a glass of whiskey or wine & the night will not disappoint.
3. Nurses are the best people.
I cannot stress enough how generally amazing the people are who are drawn to nursing. I don't know why, but they are the most passionate, hard-working & funny individuals. Almost all my friends are nurses for exactly this reason. Nurses love to help. They are driven by a crazy passion to get sh*t done. No one is better suited for a high-stress, multitasking needed situation. That's why so many are balancing kids, school & a side-hustle. And nurses are HILARIOUS. Nurses can literally be facing some of the saddest & hardest situations that life can offer, but they can make light of it all. I love me some nurses.
Have you ever seen such a variety of roles that nursing has to offer? When I meet clients who are burnt crispy & telling me that they are thinking of switching careers, I almost yell - "WHY?". There is an almost endless amount of manifestations of nursing out there. Just when I think that I've heard them all, I learn about something new. Did you know that you can be a camp nurse? Or a toxicology nurse? Or a nurse podcaster? Or an organ donation nurse? Or a nurse historian? YES!!! These are all real jobs. The list goes on & on, but I encourage you to think about your passions & do some research. There is probably an amazing fit (or at least some swag) for even your nursing & knitting interests.
5. We get to help.
We get to help people. Our patients are often in their most vulnerable time of need, as are their family, friends & other loved ones. We get to help our colleagues & communities by donating to fundraisers or working at the medic booth at the health fair. We go home & help our own relatives by taking all their calls related to - "I have this spot on my back....". Our kids & their friends come to us to help with the owies. My neighbor comes by to check in after his hip operation with questions. Nurses are helpers. I live for the helping.
This holiday season you do have the option of just dwelling on how there were three sick calls, two Code 3's in the last five minutes & a laboring mother in the waiting room (where's the partridge in the pear tree?). But why? All that would do is stress me out & make my shift that much worse. Let's choose to BUMP THAT NOISE & instead find some positivity by remembering all the reasons that we can have #nursegratitude this year.
- Sarah @ New Thing Nurse