The following article is about nurses.
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Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq.
(877) 871-4062
It's National Nurses Week! This article relates what several nurses have to say about the profession.
Florence Nightingale said, in a widely-read article published in 1876, that the goal of nursing is to “get people going again” with a “sound body and mind.”
John Darnielle, frontman for The Mountain Goats, who trained as a nurse, said in an interview published in The New Yorker on April 24, 2022:
“You become a nurse because you're already the kind of person who wants to do something for people. You feel like you have something to bring. They're called the caring professions: providing care is the thing, and you don't go into the profession unless that's something you want to do. It becomes a big part of who you are. You see some amazing things happen. Spiritually, I think, to be able to help anybody, your existence now has some kind of meaning. I don't think of my audience as patients, you know, but I do think that, in my nursing years, I learned to identify myself, or to be happy with myself, based on how much good I had done for somebody.”
In Becker's Hospital Review on July 20, 2017, nurses described why they do what they do:
  • One nurse emphasized the importance of educating patients with chronic diseases about how to take care of themselves to prevent visits to emergency rooms and hospitalizations. She said that chronically ill patients really need someone to care about them and to point out to them what they should do differently because sometimes they just don't know any better.
  • Another nurse pointed out that sometimes clinicians' jobs are harder than those of office workers. This is especially true because clinicians may have worked hard to save a patient's life without success. The failure sticks with practitioners and may manifest itself in a determination to work as hard as possible to help patients in the future.
  • A third nurse pointed out that nursing seems to have become a task-oriented profession. She said that nursing needs to be “re-humanized.” It's important to stop performing tasks, make eye contact, smile, have a discussion and sit down when clinicians are talking to patients. 
  • The importance of remaining calm regardless of the circumstances was important to the well-being of patients, according to another practitioner. No matter the situation, don't let patients see you sweat. Clinicians can't freak out and provide effective assistance to patients!
  • Finally, a nurse reminded clinicians about the importance of what they do: “Every day you wake up and you get out of bed and you know you're going to help at least ten people today...You could possibly be what stands between life and death for them. If that's something you want to take on, it's a calling you have to approach with the utmost respect and compassion.”
This may be the most important point. Nurses work hard every day because it's a calling, not a job. We cannot lose sight of the fact that nurses are the heart of healthcare. We simply must treasure and cherish those who make it possible to provide care to patients.
©2022 Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq. All rights reserved.
No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without the advance written permission of the author.


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