Saturday, May 20, 2006

as only another nurse might understand...

It's just not possible to describe how one nurse feels when a family member chooses to follow her into the family of nurses. The closest I can think of would be when your daughter becomes a mother herself. You cry for them. You cry because you are proud, because you know how much joy it will bring them and you cry because you already know the pain they will have to endure.
Nursing is not a job, it's not a profession, it's not even a 'lifestyle''s a commitment. A commitment to put others ahead of yourself. A commitment to take a bullet for someone you don't know and may not even like. A commitment to always fight for the most defenseless individual on this earth no matter how downtrodden, no matter how mean, ugly or abusive, no matter how arrogant or abrassive matter how much it makes you cry. It's a commitment to cry...lots and often. A nurse, unlike any other medical professional including doctors, cannot ever refuse care to a patient for any reason. The nurse is the only medical professional whose mandated position is as the patient's advocate. Their voice when they have none. Their protector. Their confidant. Their confessor and their priest. Their best friend and their family. Sometimes their cheerleader and sometimes their taskmaster.
Do nurses cry? Oh yes. Sometimes for ourselves. Sometimes for our patient. Sometimes for the family. Sometimes for each other. Sometimes for the whole situation, but we cry. We cry in shock, in sorrow, in relief, in joy..but we cry. We cry ALOT.

Here's to praying (for in the end that's the support nurses need most - PRAYER) that the newest member of my nursing family, my beautiful neice Heather, will learn to cry for all the right reasons. How else can I possibly express how proud of her and her choices to join the family of nurses? Of course...I cried.

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