When I was fifteen years old, I landed myself in the emergency room because of excruciating migraines. When the doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong but had stabilized my pain, he sent me home. I ended up back in the same emergency room two other times that week for this migraine that wouldn’t go away. There were blood draws, various radiation-based tests, and even a spinal tap done in an effort to figure out what was going on with me. It was pretty terrifying. But the one thing I remember most was that the nurses on each of those nights were kind, helpful, and comforting. (Oh, and they still never really figured out what caused the migraines.)
In my mid-twenties, my aunt joined the United States Army. While she was in, she went to school to become a nurse, something that she felt was deeply satisfying. She did two tours in Afghanistan when, on her second tour, she was awake and on her feet for almost 36 hours in order to help the sick and wounded. Her body decided that it was too much and she had several seizures (she had previously never had a seizure in her life). She was discharged but was still determined to help others. It’s been almost a decade since she started nursing school and, to this day, she continues saving lives as a nurse. In fact, she was recently transferred to a different hospital so that she can help take care of the high number of COVID-19 patients.
I have probably a dozen other stories like this. At eighteen years old, I had a best friend whose mom was a nurse at the VA hospital. She took far better care of her patients than she did herself. My cousin is also a nurse who patiently texted with me when I pregnant anytime I had a question. You see, these people – nurses – are one of the reasons that the world keeps spinning. They are heroes.
Nurses Week 2020 is May 6th through 12th. Show your nurses the recognition that they deserve. They take care of us day in and day out; let’s start taking care of them.