Dear Senator Maureen Walsh,
When you are ready you are welcome to come follow me or any other nurse in the hospital just to see how our day goes. I won’t let you touch anything, give anything or save anyone’s life. However, I will let you wear my watch where it counts my thousands and thousands of steps daily and it also has a picture of my 7mo son as the back ground. Why you may ask? Because as a nurse you hardly get the chance to pull your phone out, text your family, call your family, check on your baby much less look at a picture of them.
There are days where we wont get a lunch and the days we do are not a full 30 minutes. Now, we are suppose to get a full 30 minute unpaid lunch break. However, there are thousands of nurses that still do not get that every single day because they are to busy, and this is just a single hospital.
You might be thinking what in the world could we be doing that we don’t have time for a 30 minute lunch break? Well you said it yourself we are taking care of patients. We aren’t doctors who go in and see a patient for a few minutes (they are just as busy dealing with multiple patients). We are with the same patients for hours upon hours day after day. We treat, heal, love on, laugh with, cry with, pray with, and hope with the patient, their mom and dad, their brother, sister, aunt, uncle and grandparents. We sit, we listen, we learn and we grow. We heal and we save lives.
We run down to the court and play basketball for a whole 5 minutes with a kid who use to love playing basketball but can’t anymore due to different medical reasons. Then we rush back up to teach a family how to care for this new beautiful baby that’s now going home on a ventilator. We rush because that it the only 30 minute window that the family can make due to their work schedule and their other kids schedules. Can you imagine having a new baby in the hospital and not being able to be there for them? Then, with tears in their eyes, they have to leave, we hold, nurture, feed and clean that baby for them. Then we go on to the next patient, no we don’t get a break. This patient may ask to play video games in between his therapy sessions for learning how to walk, write or even eat again.
You see, yes, we might play cards because it’s apart of their therapy session that day. We might play video games, basketball, dress up or decorate an entire room in Christmas lights with a paper Christmas tree because some kids don’t get to do that at home. Some kids don’t get to be “normal” and spend Christmas at home with their family. Some kids spend years in the hospital. We as nurses make sure they don’t regret a single day in the hospital. We bring joy and laughter where there is pain and heartaches. We cry on the way home over the amount of hurt we have felt through the day. Yes I am talking about the business of the day but also the emotional aspect of our day. The kids I will not be able to heal, the kids I will not be able to save.
The kids that have to spend another day or another holiday in the hospital. The prolonged days to sit and cry with families.
You think we might sit around but I tell you what I was 4cm 70% effaced at 37 weeks because of the many hours and steps I had to walk at my job and until I had my precious boy, I waddled my way through those hallways taking care of every single kid while the steps continued to rack up. I would exhaustedly come home to my husband just to get up in 5 hours and do it again for 12 hours that would soon turn into 14 hours with one single 30 minute lunch break.
So, I will continue to play cards, basketball, dress up, be a singer, be an artist, be a shoulder to cry on, be whatever my patient wants me to be and do whatever they need me to do. No matter the obstacle I will find a way to accomplish their wishes. Because someone’s gotta do it and that someone is always going to be a nurse.
#senatorwalsh #cards #nurses