International Nurses Day

Today was international Nurses Day and all over social media there have been posts about nurses and how nurses are like angels, nurses who have given up their lives to look after others, nurses who have seen people at their most vulnerable, seen people face things they should never have to face, have been the shoulder to cry on, have been that person to make something just a little bit easier to face, the are people who just love to care for others and will often leave families at home who need them to look after other family members who also need them.

But why is today international nurses day. It is the day Florence Nightingale was born. The pioneer of modern nursing.

Over the past decade I would say I have come across a lot of nurses. Both good and bad.

Lets start with the bad. I am sure the nurses who I assume to be bad or I have taken a dislike to are probably dealing with one hundred and one other things and me asking for more nebulisers or me telling them I need detached from my drip, cardiac monitor and need the portable oxygen cylinder so I can go to the toilet is just a bit annoying especially when you are pumped full of fluid and have lots of salbutamol which also makes you need to pee every hour which drives me nuts no doubt drives them nuts to and just because I feel they are not great does not make them a bad nurse. There are some who I have learnt a lot from. I have learnt what I did not want to be as a nurse- Being on the receiving end of rudeness, bluntness, coldness, and feeling like you are a huge burden has taught me what I don’t want to do to my patients in my role as their nurse.

On the other hand I have had some amazing nurses. Nurses who I have known for over a decade now. Nurses who have sat with me during the night when my chest is bad and breathing is such hard work, I have had nurses come from ITU to see me to review me and comfort me when I am too scared about the prospect of going to intensive care, nurses help me when I am too stubborn to ask for help, or even nurses who know me well enough and tell me to snap out of it and grow up. I remember this from my last night in hospital on my last admission a nurse who I have known since I was a kid as we used to ski race together basically told me that shit happens and yeh its frustrating being in and out of hospital but I was facing the end of an admission, getting home and had to focus on that which sometimes you need. Sometimes you need that nurse to give you the kick up the rear end and get you thinking straight. I guess I am lucky to have nurses around me that I know and who can do that.

But one thing I do know is I value each and every one of them. For everything they do, and every patient they tend to and help even just the little things but its the little things that matter as much as the big things the little hellos when they give you your meds or kick you out of bed in the morning when you can’t be bothered getting up.

I love being a nurse and hope that my experience as a patient has taught me how to be a good nurse. Nursing school has taught me the theory of nursing but I hope that my experience as a patient has given me the knowledge and empathy to be a nurse patients are happy to have.

Nurses and care assistants are the backbone of the health service. I am proud to be a nurse and love being a nurse but I am also proud of the other nurses out there who I work with as colleagues but who have looked after me and my family.

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