It usually happens when you least expect it, and then it becomes a part of you.
There are many ways we nurses’ can and do get recognized, although it’s very few and far between.
We receive it from our education, from our co-workers, from our colleagues, and every once in a great while from our superiors.
The other day I got that certain kind of recognition that makes all the long-days, and tiresome shifts worthwhile. This type of recognition reminds you of why you became a nurse, and why you remain a nurse.
I was taking care of a patient in the PACU. She had an OB-GYN type of procedure. I was taking care of her, helping her recover from her surgery in a safe and controlled manner in my usual fashion. “Are you warm enough?”, “How is your pain?”, “Are you comfortable?”
Giving pain medication as needed.
I was encouraging her to cough, even though it hurt to cough. I explained to here the ramifications of not coughing, especially after surgery, no matter how minor it was. I demonstrated the use of a pillow to help less the surge of pain she was having.
I gave her as much information as I could on pain management. Making sure she understood the difference between controlling your pain, and chasing your pain.
During all of my ‘normal’ routines, this particular patient ever-so slightly placed her warm hand on my forearm, and with the stare of appreciation she calmly and quietly said,” You have a wonderful bedside manner. Thank You. You’re a good nurse”.
It caught me off guard for a few seconds, and now looking back on it.. I think I was staring at her. ()
I politely smiled and gave the most genuine thank you I could create, as I continued about my responsibilities.
In my heart, I wanted to give her a great big bear hug and tell how much she made my day… to tell her that her kind words had validated all my efforts to become and be the nurse I am today.
Her thank you meant more to me than any high marks on any evaluation, meant more to me than any certification I have attained. Her words will help me through the next ‘tornado’ of events that will happen.. as they always do happen to us nurses’.
It’s one thing to hear from a third party that a particular patient like you, and valued your care, but to hear it from the source… was priceless.
I think my heart grew a little bigger and my face was a lil’ more red that day.
I LOVE being a nurse.