Here we are in February, the month where many of us celebrate love on Valentine’s Day. Love for our partner, our children, our families, and I’m going to add one more to the list – love for our profession. Let’s face it, the last 2 years have been the most challenging for our profession and for all of healthcare. If you’re like me, there have been times over the past 2 years you’ve asked,
“Why do I love the nursing profession?”
Caring for others brings peace to my soul and gives me a purpose
. It gives me a reason to get up every day and make a positive impact on someone’s life. It's who I am at my core; it’s my calling.
I recognize the past 2 years have been the most challenging in my nursing career but, it’s what I choose to do – care for others.
There is no greater privilege than to be with people at the best and worst times of their lives.
I’ve been with people on their best days: births, hearing they are cancer free, or recovering from a catastrophic illness and being able to go home to their families. Lately, I’ve been with people on the worst day of their life, hearing they or their family member has COVID and won’t be coming home. It’s a privilege to experience these intimate situations with my patients and to remember I am there because they trust me to care for them without judgement.
Learning that communicating just by being present is one of the greatest forms of loving another human being.
There is a quiet spirit in what we do; it’s sometimes hard to appreciate it because working in a chaotic environment is loud, but it’s there just under the surface. The act of holding someone’s hand, stroking a forehead, smiling with our eyes behind our masks. We speak volumes with our calmness in the most chaotic situation, reassuring our patients we are here for them and they are not alone.
Nursing has given me the strength to fight for what is right
. Doing what is right is often the hardest road. I am the voice for my patients, so they receive equitable healthcare in all situations. I am an advocate for the nursing profession, supporting change to ensure safe work environments, adequate staffing, training, education, and competency so every patient receives the highest quality care that is informed by the best available evidence.
Nursing has taught me the value of life.
Living is not about the quantity of time we have on this earth; rather it is about the quality of time we have and what we do with it. So often we see patients who die surrounded by machines, monitors, intravenous pumps, and technology being kept alive as a shell of their former self simply because they didn’t have a conversation with their loved ones about how they wanted their life to end. There is a better way; death can be a blessing and that same patient can die peacefully and pain free surrounded by their loved ones with a nurse at their side.
Let’s not forget why we love nursing…
In the face of the pandemic, it’s easy to lose sight of why we went into the nursing profession in the first place. Remember you are the one constant in your patient’s life – you value their life, inspire their trust, care for them in the most challenging of circumstances, and when it’s time, help them to release their spirit. Nursing…the purest form of loving our neighbor.