Nurses…these are an amazing group of people.  They work super long, hard hours and get very little recognition in my opinion and have to put up with a LOT of crap.  They deal with patients and families that may be experiencing the worst times in their lives as well as taking orders from Dr’s who may not always show them the respect that they deserve.

I have obviously had a ton of experience with nurses.  Working with them, having them care for me at appointments, giving birth, during hospital stays, before, during and after surgery and through an extended an complicated ICU stay.  They are the link between getting information from the patient to the physician in many cases.  I have a very high opinion of these selfless people that constantly give of themselves physically and mentally.

Great nurses…they are tireless and amazing.  They can be swamped and still make you feel like you are their only priority.  If you tell them something is wrong they put a call into your physician without you having to ask them to.  They are brutally honest which is sometimes a slap in the face but usually much needed.

Getting out of bed after almost two months is hard, painful and exhausting.  I know that I made it harder on my nurses because I tried to bargain with them to get out of it.  I had a male nurse that dragged me out of my bed multiple times a day for four days straight and he took no excuses from me.  As I huffed and puffed and sometimes didn’t even make it to the doorway he would be back again in a couple hours and make me do it again, telling me every single time that someday I would thank him.  He would draw on my wall clock with a dry erase marker after every walk and mark the time that we would go walk again.  He was relentless and if not for him I would not have gotten out of the hospital as soon as I did.

There are too many good experiences to list but these nurses are people that have dried my tears, listened to my fears, helped my family cope, and helped to ensure that I was not just physically OK, but also mentally OK.  They have stood up to physicians for me when they knew that I was sicker than what the Dr thought on a quick glance into an ER room and advocated for me when I was unable to.  They are there at the beginning, middle and end of life.  A lot of what they do would turn most peoples stomachs but they have the ability to make you feel like whatever horror you are facing is going to be OK.

I am fortunate that I have only had a few “bad” nurses but those experiences definitely stick out in my mind.  My first unpleasant experience was when I was in labor with my second child.  I had a very condescending nurse who refused to listen to anything that I had to say.  I told her that she needed to check me as the baby was coming out…she argued with me and told me it had only been 5 minutes since she checked me.  I won’t lie, I yelled at her….my husband was the voice of reason and asked her what the harm of checking me again would be.  She lifted up the sheet, dropped the sheet and grabbed the phone to call the dr because guess what…my son was on his way out.  This always has puzzled me…why would you not believe a woman that says the baby is coming out right now….

Another bad experience…this has happened to me more than once, by more than one nurse.  If you are treating a patient that has been hospitalized or just undergone surgery the last thing that patient needs is you to walk in their room and bitch about what a shitty day you are having.  I have no doubt that you are having a bad day and the multitude of things that could go wrong with your day are huge and I in no way dismiss that fact.  But here’s the deal, if I am the patient, or my loved one is the patient they do not need the added stress of hearing how bad your day is, or how tired you are.  I get it that you probably need to vent, but unless I know you personally, I do not need to add your bad day to my bad day.

My biggest issue with any medical professional is not listening.  I know that you are way more educated than I am, have years of training in your field of expertise and I respect the time and dedication that you have taken to learn your chosen field.  Although not trained in the medical field, I do know my body.  I know when something is not right…I may not know exactly what is wrong but if I tell you something doesn’t feel right show me enough respect to listen.

To all my nurses past, present and future…Thank you.  Even if I had or have a bad experience with you, know that I also understand that you are human too.  I have no idea what your day has consisted of…maybe your favorite patient passed away, maybe someone threw feces at you or maybe you were just belittled by a superior.  Thank you for always taking care of me and my loved ones even on your worst days.  Especially when I haven’t always been an easy patient.

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