Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

A Hug

on May 2, 2017


“Thank you. You made me feel human.”

I instantly wanted to cry.

I wasn’t upset. I was overwhelmed with gratitude to have been the recipient of her words.

In thirty years of nursing, I’ve been recognized with certificates, plaques, monetary awards, and more, but to have a patient say “thank you” for acknowledging and respecting their vulnerability is by far the greatest compliment of all.

And what did I do to deserve this — I gave her a hug.

Twenty minutes earlier, when she walked down the hall toward me in the pre-op area, I saw the anxiety on her face. So, I wrapped my arm around her shoulders as I turned to point her toward the Bay she would be ‘prepped’ in. I gave her a reassuring squeeze and promised to get her laughing before long.

It was when I brought her husband back that she reported to him of being ‘okay’ and giving me credit as to the reason why.

This is why I returned to clinical nursing — the human component of medical care.

I don’t care about climbing the corporate ladder. I believe in leading by example. And when you get right down to it, caring about the patient is step one to doing all the other things, starting IV’s, completing complex dressing changes, administering medications, etc… correctly.

P.S. for the nurses: Don’t tell them everything is going to be okay. You don’t know that. Reread all the risk on an anesthesia consent form.

I’ll be talking about this on my next post.

Goodnight 🙂

14 responses to “A Hug

  1. joey says:

    Nurses are angels. Well, the good ones are.
    The bad ones … I haven’t had but a few.

    • Christy says:

      Yep, that sounds like what you would do. That is sweet. I remember my fear going into surgery and I had a great nurse who stayed and prayed for me with my pastor when he came in! I agree on the NOT saying “It will be okay.” Only God knows the end results. I feel when people say that to me they are just hoping I will shut up because they cannot deal with the uncertainty.

      • Susan says:

        The “You’ll be fine,” it’s some kind of social cliché that lots say with, eh, good intention, but it’s false reassurance. ( It’s partly why I had such a reaction to hearing of your now past surgery. )

    • Susan says:

      Yes, some halos start falling…

  2. mikah257 says:

    A friend, a retiring nurse, is concerned that hospitals and nursing have lost their humanity. I’ll be glad to report to her–not yet!

  3. Hugs are better than any medicine I know.

  4. Yes, nurses know what to do to help the patient get through the tough moments. High touch, low tech may be more appropriate in some instances. Thanks for showing the reason some of us choose nursing.

  5. BETH says:

    Ninety-nine.999% of the nurses I have known are angels in disguise; however, we got that one bad one when we needed the best. Our 6 year-old daughter was run over by a hit-and-run driver, a girl with a car full of boys, whom she *had* to drop somewhere before she returned to beg me not to turn her in to the police.

    Our little girl had a double compound fracture in her leg, just above the ankle. Both bones were broken completely through the sheath that generally holds broken bones together. She was hysterical because she had tried to save a kitten from a doberman that lived next door and was not sure the kitten had been saved before she was injured. The little kitten was her life. The nurse assumed she was a spoiled brat and so treated her that way. Little did she know that our little girl was constantly demonstrating sacrifice and bravery in every aspect of her existance. That young lady was the only medical personnel I have ever asked not to attend a family member.

    • BETH says:

      I forgot to mention that the same “hit-and-run” driver had killed a little boy on a moped the week before she hit my daughter. That was the reason she begged me not to turn her in. It would not have done much good to turn her in anyway, because her father was chief of police, We figured we had the whole medical bill to pay and everything, but the insurance company came to us and paid every penny of the three surgeries our daughter had to have. They also gave a lump payment for trauma, which we did not ask for. AND, I might add that the hospital staff was wonderful during all those long days.

      • Susan says:

        God is in control all the time and brings into our lives people that care, people that understand what He wants us to do.

    • Susan says:

      I have a daughter I would give my life for, and am fiercely protective of – I can only imagine the range of emotions for you having gone through this experience,

      Being placed in the vocation of nursing has had everything to do with helping me grow as a person. Some run into the direction of their choosing, whether it be nursing or otherwise, for ‘security’ ‘benefits’ ‘good hours’, not for any altruistic reasons.
      I’ve seen behind the curtain. Unfortunately, the statistic of nurses that don’t realize how they impact people is higher than perceived.
      What your daughter had to go through was surely agonizing. I hope there are only minor residual gait issues due to the compound fracture.

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