Today’s stories from the Mightiest Nurse Contest, express a few emotions that nurses feel day in and day out. It takes a special loving person to be a nurse. You all are truly amazing. Tomorrow, our grand prize winning story will be announced, so stay tuned.
“Broken” by Barbara Greles
She is brought to me and I cannot find a pulse. The choreography is simple and brutal. My hands find the bone that shields her heart, and I push down , feeling the ribs crack like branches in an ice storm. I’ve never met her before, but a slide show of her life passes before me. She was someone’s precious child, she loved the sun on her face, she told corny jokes, she drank too much beer. It’s always like that. We finally stop. The room becomes silent as the inside of a seashell. The resident chokes back tears. We clean her, the other nurses and I, without a word. Wrap her in blankets like the day she was born. I’ll meet her son at the elevator, and try to break it gently.
“Humble but Mighty Home Health Care” by Janine Bryant
I once thought working in Home Care was like being “put out to pasture.” I had worked in a hospital and especially loved floating to ICU. I relished in the adrenaline rush, the chaos, feeling like a hot shot. Then I had a family and Home Health became a better option. And it has been special in ways I had never dreamed of. Like last night, when my nine year old Vented, paralyzed patient woke up at 3AM and couldn’t get back to sleep. Perhaps he overheard his Mom telling me how he became paralyzed at age 5, from a botched surgery to fix his twisted spine. Probably, since this beautiful boy with gigantic chestnut eyes fringed with impossibly long eyelashes, is quite intelligent and perceptive. So I changed him, suctioned him, turned him, gave him an extra blanket. Then I whispered, “Think happy thoughts” into his floppy little ear, and rubbed his bony shoulder. He eventually drifted off to sleep. This story may sound pretty dull to those who have wrestled with A-lines, assisted in cardiac surgery, stabilized a gunshot wound victim and such. Home Care may not be the most exciting field of nursing, but for me, it is so sweetly satisfying.