As I write this, I am in shock over the events that transpired over the last 24 hours. I am in shock and dismayed at the hatred and bigotry that still exists in my country-in a city a stone’s throw from where I grew up. I am home visiting my family in Central Florida, only about an hour from Orlando. I have been paralyzed by account after account of the senseless attack on and murder of the LBGT community here. It is an attack on every living, breathing being on the planet. It is an attack on fundamental human rights.
I took my first ballet lesson in Orlando, saw my first concert there, experienced my first teenage crush. Disney World was my playground as a child. It is a city that is near and dear to me both personally and professionally. My first instinct on learning of the devastation (like most) was how can I help? The nurse in me wanted to jump in the car and drive to Orlando to assist in any way possible.
I was fortunately raised in believing that all human beings should have equal rights, equal opportunity, and equal respect. I have my parents to thank. As a nurse, I have ALWAYS worked with the same ethic. I think I can safely say that most nurses work without judgement as well. We are not defined by hate, prejudice. We see only a patient.
Nurses Know No Color
We do not see black, white, yellow. We see only human.
Nurses Know No Orientation
We do not see straight, lesbian, bisexual, gay, or transgender. We see only pain.
Nurses Know No Religion
We do not see Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu. We see only loss.
Nurses Know No Politics
We do not see liberal or conservative. We see only anguish.
Nurses Know No Hatred
We do not see hatred. We witness only a last breath.
The thing about first responders, nurses, doctors is that the barriers that separate us in our day to day lives no longer exist the moment we put on the uniform, the badge. Any bigotry, sexism, homophobia is suppressed by the need to help. We see only people in need, people in pain, people stricken by grief, or people in some of the most profoundly life changing moments in their lives.
Perhaps if we could all see through the unbiased eyes of first responders, nurses, doctors every day- the world would be a better place. My deepest sympathy to those lost in the name of hatred. My deepest sympathy to their loved ones. Sending love and light to the first responders that risked their lives to save others. And to my fellow nurses that are working tirelessly to support those still in need, thank you.
Anyone in the Central Florida area is urged to donate blood. While they are currently overwhelmed with the numbers donating, they will be in continued need of blood in the coming days. Donors are encouraged to make an appointment through https://www.oneblood.org.