Roughly 5 or so weeks ago I started my job as an emergency department nurse. I just graduated in May so you can imagine how overwhelming the first several weeks were! My first day, I followed around my “coach” like a lost puppy. I had no idea what was going on or how the flow of the ED worked. It was so much to take in, even after twelve hours. Though I may not have known what to do at certain times, what meds to give when, how fast to give those meds, who to talk to about certain issues, or where to find, well anything really, the things I didn’t need to learn from them, the things nursing school helped enforce but I still didn’t learn there is, compassion, caring, and empathy.
When people come to my Emergency Department they don’t come because they are having such a great day and are going on a field trip. These people are at their worst, they don’t feel good, they are scared. They often times don’t know what’s going on. They look to me and other medical professionals for assurance that it will be okay. Nursing is about taking care of the medical needs of our patients but it’s more than that. To truly take care of our patients we have to care that they are more than vitals every hour, and pain pills as needed and fluids. At the heart of nursing it is about compassion and empathy.
So many times I’ve sat wth family members while the patient is getting tests done and just listened. They just want some one to listen and talk to.
The hardest patients for me to care for are cancer patients. We see them all the time, so it’s something I’ve had to overcome. I look at them and I see my dad, it’s hard. But because of my personal experience I can empathize and understand better then a lot of others. Sometimes I see the husband or wife of the patient holding back tears and I just want to give them the biggest hug and tell them it’s okay to cry. Sometimes I do, sit and cry with them.
It can be emotionally hard, and there are times when my compassion gets low. Because not everyone is actually sick and some people are rude. But how can I not give compassion to others when my Lord always has compassion and love for me?
When I get irritated there’s this nudge in my heart “love others because I first loved you”.
Nursing is so much more then the degree and certification that I have.
Loving people is hard and it can be painful. But at the end of the day, God loves me, I feel that love, and I have peace knowing I’m following Gods plan for my life.