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From our readers…I remain in nursing because of you


I remain in nursing because of you.

We have yet to meet but, if you are my patient someday, this is what I will do for you.

Because of you, I will use my best communication skills. If you birthed a child with an unexpected outcome, I will be there. If you want to talk, I will listen. If you want to cry, I will cry with you. If you are afraid, I will sit with you. If words fail me, I will give you the comfort of my silence.

Because of you, I will look-up new medications to make sure I understand what they do and how to correctly administer them. If you are a scared preteen, newly diagnosed with diabetes, I will listen to your anxieties about being different than the rest of the kids. Yet, I will encourage you to work with me as I teach you about the medications you will need and administer. I will check back with you later to see how you are coping and if the medications worked.

Because of you, I will read articles in nursing journals and research periodicals so my care will reflect evidence-based practice. If you are a young college student hospitalized with MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), I will use the latest techniques to protect you from further vulnerability. I will even look up new words in a medical dictionary so I can clearly understand what nurse authors and nurse researchers are recommending I do for you.

Because of you, I will believe in the words of William Shakespeare who wrote, “You shall see wonders.” I will see the wonder of your ability to heal physically from surgical repair of your injuries supported by my nursing skills. If you are a middle-aged wife diagnosed with permanent disability inflicted by your abuser, I will show you how to heal mentally and physically and I will stand in awe of your ability to grasp the meaning of just being alive despite slow progress and blows to your spirit.

Because of you, I will support your family and friends and give them a listening ear, deliver impartial truths, and convey genuineness when I face them. If your brother delays his retirement to financially support you and take care of your psychiatric needs, yet is angry about the burden of your continual hospitalizations, I will not back away but will remain to hear his concerns and negotiate a resolution that satisfies.

Because of you, I will encourage your determination to remain independent for as long as possible. If you are a senior with breast cancer treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy, I will applaud your goal of being back on the ski slopes before winter’s end. I will smile when I visualize your graceful efforts to glide down a mountain, gray hair flying from under your woolen hat while you joyfully exclaim, “Wha-hoooo!”

Because of you, I will have quiet conversations with you as your life’s journey becomes uncertain. Whether you remain in the hospital or head to the familiar surroundings of your home, I will help with preparations, gather the people you want to have with you, and orchestrate the best of final moments.<?p>

At the end of the workday, I will go home knowing that you gave me more than I have given you. You gave me the opportunity to care for you, and to determine the outcome of your challenges today. I may smile when I get home or cry, or simply fall exhausted into bed knowing that whatever your age in years, you deserved my best and…because of you, I remain in nursing.

Amy J. Chaffin is associate professor, Nevada State College School of Nursing, Henderson, Nevada.

From our readers gives nurses the opportunity to share experiences that would be helpful to their nurse colleagues. Because of this format, the stories have been minimally edited. If you would like to submit an article for From our readers, email it to https://myamericannurse.com/SendLetterstoEditor.aspx.

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