The hardest job you’ll ever love…that’s what I have told multiple classes of nursing students…it’s the hardest job you’ll ever love.
My guess is that many other professions feel that way about their work, too. But I just want to mention one thing that encourages my heart every year…the placement of nurses at the top of the list of most trusted professions in the U.S.
Nurses, you should be proud of this ranking. On the days you come home with a uniform ruined by poop or vomit or Betadine…on the days you come home deflated and humiliated by a physician’s belittling comments…on the days you work without a break or lunch because the unit was understaffed…on the day your favorite patient coded and died, or the day the patient’s family reminded you how much smarter WebMD is than you…
We have chosen a profession in which the hardships are great, but the rewards are greater, and that is where our focus must remain if we’re to make a difference in the world of healthcare. The first and final advocate for the patient is often the nurse. The eyes that see subtle changes usually belong to the nurse. Hold on to those ideas on the crummy days. Remember to always use every brain cell to assess, plan, implement, and then evaluate evidence-based practices. Remember the importance of touch. Remember to LISTEN to your patient. They look at us as the fail-safe and guardian of their healthcare experience. And we can be that when we make sure we are well-educated, observant, and dedicated.
Happy Nurses Week. I salute you.