“I’m not a waitress” and other lies.

I have read roughly seventeen bazillion articles/blogs that discuss how underrated, and mistreated the bedside caregiver is. Most of these are beautifully and tactfully composed. I love reading them because universally, they give the public a glimpse into our day, they give accounts of why we are proud of what we do, they value our calling, and it’s just plain nice to see that others walk through the same fire that I do. We are not alone in our struggle.
I do have to say, however, that oftentimes I come across comments from other nurses that trouble me. These comments make our community seem composed of haughty,  jaded brats. Just as “entitled” as the family member they are complaining about asking for a diet coke, I’d like to challenge my fellow caregiver to hold yourself a little more accountable than that. Let me remind you that our profession is a higher calling. We are, and should be held to a higher standard. When we are feeling “abused” at the bedside, who are we helping by “fighting back?” I daresay no one, including yourself. When we see the media discussing our work with anything but the highest reverence, how could it help anything by lighting torches and tying nooses? Let us remember that our work is no longer strictly volunteer. We get payed to do our work, and the currency is not gratitude. You need to find another fuel for your afirmation fire. It makes me uncomfortable when the unsung hero’s of healthcare suddenly demand songs of praise. That is simply not why we are here. It makes me sad when I see my fellow nurses infuriated when retail workers ask for holidays off when “we can’t do that.” Have we forgotten that our purpose is a little more important than black Friday shopping? If we want to be respected for the work we do, we have to respect it for what it is. If you aren’t willing to be a bit of a martyr, a bit of a servant, a bit of a whipping boy sometimes, perhaps you should reevaluate your career choice. Please, don’t think that I don’t get upset when my colleagues aren’t treated with the respect that I know they deserve. I recognize that there is a perception problem in our society of healthcare workers. It is my opinion, however, that a portion of this issue rises from our perception of our own profession. It has drifted away from what it should be. I believe that we could improve the public outlook towards us if we first redirect our attitude as a community. The fact is that we shouldn’t be offended when we serve as someone’s waitress, their maid, or their masseuse.  All of those things can contribute to healing or to comfort and that is why we are here. So chin up, smile, you’re doing a great job. You are helping people. Just don’t expect to be told that all the time.

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What Do I Pray for My Son?

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Since the moment Ryan and I decided we wanted to grow our family, my mind was clouded with worries of all the challenges our child would face in this world. Will he meet these with confidence? Will I have given him the foundation to grow into a happy, well-rounded adult? It is truly a lot of pressure. Will I teach him humility,  respect, and accountability?  Will I teach him that happiness will never be found in the newest car or the biggest house? Will he learn that it is great to dream, but it is useless without hard work? When it is time he starts looking for someone to share his life with, will he search for character, or vanity? When he feels weak, will he reach for the Lord, or will he reach for a bottle? When he feels strong, will he raise a hand or lend a hand? The list goes on and on. My prayers are that me and my household will set the example that He means for us to, although I know I fall short every day. Luckily, my better half is the best man, husband, and father for the job. I also know we have backup. The saying still holds true, “It takes a village.” Luckily, our son has many aunts, uncles, grandparents, and loved ones to help him on the way. A child comes into the world a blank slate. The responsibility is ours to set them on the right path with a love for the Lord, and a kind heart.
To the family raising the child that mine will pick as his lifelong partner in crime: I pray for you too. I pray that you show her love and I pray that she’ll know how to seek happiness in loving others. I pray that she’ll have the strength that only a Godly woman has, and I pray you are praying for us too.

I Am Absolutely in No Way Offended

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Firstly, I have to say that the influx of displays of pride by my friends in the healthcare field since the comments made on “The View” makes my heart swell. We have every right to be proud of what we do every moment of every day.

Secondly, I have to chuckle at the irony in the fact that basically, my entire experience with the show has occurred at bedside while I’m at the hospital. (That is the one with Darlene and Sister Mary Clearance right?) The only “TV” we watch at my house is what we dig out of the five dollar bin at Walmart. Also we’ve been known to YouTube on our phones while sitting on the toilet. After all, there’s only so much Jean Claude van Damme I can handle.

Thirdly, best I can see, this show is about as influential and relevant as “The People’s Talk Divorce court with Doctor Phil and Maurry.” Clearly, I can’t keep them straight because 50 percent of daytime TV is total garbage and the other half is advertisements that pay for the garbage. It’s a massive blur of scripted controversy and drama.
I’ve discussed daytime television with approximately 63,884,993 patients, a mostly geriatric group, and guess what? They all think it’s garbage too! (I’m excluding Dr. Oz because half of my patient population wants to be his girlfriend.) Most television that plays in front of my patients is simply on to drown out the silence of their lonely hospital room. Here is a challenge for anyone who works in a hospital or nursing home: If the patient has the TV on, assess them. Notice their eyes, are they engaged? Are they even looking at it? If the answer is no, they could probably use some company. It has been my experience that they had way rather have actual conversation with a human than distracting themselves with whatever crappy shows air between 6am and 5pm. Do this and I swear, they’ll remember your care, not whatever half a dozen botoxed bitches grabbed about for thirty minutes yesterday morning.

*Note: Never interrupt a geriatric patient if a game or a soap opera is on for small talk.

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