Celebrating Nurses Everywhere: A Nurse Is Somebody Who…

It’s only fitting that we celebrate Nurse’s Appreciation Day when nurses are often times overlooked and go unappreciated. It’s unfair, really, because they deserve so much more recognition than they ever receive! But, if I’m being completely honest, I didn’t entirely value or understand how much they do until I needed them the most. After having had three kids in less than five years, one NICU stay, several trips to urgent cares, and too many well-child appointments to count, I’ve come to truly appreciate the many nurses I’ve interacted with.

While  doctors often get the credit for the safe arrival of a healthy baby or a successful surgery, it’s the nurses who are the real heroes. Even though all the nurses we’ve met over the years have done things differently, they still provided us with the same amount of care and compassion. I will never fully grasp the depths of their job tasks and what it takes to become a nurse, but what I know now about nurses will never be forgotten. I’ve come to realize and appreciate the following:

Celebrating Nurses Everywhere: A Nurse Is Somebody Who...

A nurse is somebody who…

has a very special skill set they’ve gained from years of education, training, and experience. It cannot be measured in how much they make because they go to work every day to truly make a difference, not just a paycheck.

A nurse is somebody who….

celebrates a patient’s highest high and mourns their lowest low right beside them. Nurses help babies into the world as they take their first breath. Meanwhile, others hold the hand of someone as they take their last breath. They are the ones to laugh or cry with you no matter the occasion.

A nurse is somebody who…

constantly provides his or her patients with the same kindness and respect she or he would give to his or her own family. Nurses even sacrifice their own nights, weekends, and holidays to ensure their patients are still receiving the highest quality of care they deserve.

A nurse is somebody who…

people don’t really value until they need one for themselves, a family member, or a friend. They are the unsung heroes throughout the halls of hospitals, clinics, and other care facilities. They are the ones who provide the true healing. 

A nurse is somebody who…

will run towards disaster and heartache when others run away. They don’t have time to play cards or take long lunch breaks between patient care, making rounds, charting, and so much more. They are resilient, brave, and strong day after day, knowing both the joy and heartbreak they’ve witnessed.

A nurse is somebody who…

can take care of newborn babies to 100 year olds, and everyone in between. They are able to look beyond the medical condition and see a human in need of love and gentle care. Most of us meet initially as strangers but eventually call them a friend, a lifesaver, and even an angel on earth.

A nurse is somebody who…

can balance being a care provider, an educator, a confidant, a medicine machine, a counselor, and a patient advocate while making it all look easy. It’s impressive how many tasks they can juggle at one time while going in different directions. They wear many hats every day and they wear them well. 

So as you can see, a nurse is so much more than “just” a nurse! Don’t be fooled when they downplay what they do, because it is far from easy. And honestly, saying “thank you” and celebrating their profession for only one week feels so inadequate. I don’t know what life would be like without nurses and I hope we never find out!

I’m very grateful to live in an area with ample, amazing healthcare options. I had two of my babies at the University of Iowa Hospital and one at Mercy Hospital. I’ve also had family and friends receive care from St. Luke’s Hospital. There’s a reason these hospitals are continually recognized nationally, receiving many accolades. They all have the best of the best, and that includes the nurses. No matter if our paths only crossed once or continuously, these nurses will certainly always hold a special place in my heart!

To all nurses everywhere: thank you for all that you have done and will continue to do. You may forget your patient’s names over time, but they will never forget you. What you do is more appreciated than you’ll ever know!

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