It’s an odd thing doing what I do sometimes.  Dichotomies of highs and lows, life and death, joy and sorrow.  In the past 15 years that I have been in health care -- a nurse’s assistant, to registered nurse, to now pediatric nurse practitioner -- I have had the strange experience of all this emotion.  It wasn’t until recently, maybe because I have a family of my own now, that ...

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My anger rises when I see the TV "nurse" with her short white dress and her breasts spilling over her pronounced cleavage and her submissive voice speaking to this muscular male MD. Her quick giggle and pretentious demeanor is a stereotype portrayed across the land. And the reality of what we really do goes unnoticed. We have people shouting: "Bring me a coke!" "A blanket, hurry up!" "The food is too cold ... the food ...

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I was an RN for more than 40 years and am now retired. As a recent hospital patient, I documented my experiences. This resulted in a letter to nurses everywhere. *** Dear Nurse, Please be kind to me. I am frightened, alone, and in pain. I am way out of my comfort zone and need every bit of encouragement you have to offer. I arrived at the emergency room a short while ago, was ...

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Earlier this year, I asked a group of nurses what gifts doctors could give that would help them know they are appreciated. There were hundreds of comments that included many I expected: Food (pizza, chocolate, cake, tacos, bourbon, Starbucks, healthy snacks), pens, cash, and/or gift cards for all shifts. There were some interesting “high end” ideas: Massages or a massage chair. Trips. Cars. Stethoscopes. Some still make me shake my head and ...

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Dear hospital, The last three years, I have had the pleasure of working in our state's renowned emergency department and level-1 trauma center. My departure closes out a decade of my nursing career as an emergency room and flight nurse. This department — the staff, in particular — will forever hold a very special place in my heart. I leave with a great amount of respect and thanks for this exceptional ...

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Recently I visited a lady at her home who was a palliative care patient. She was seated on the couch in the living room with a turban on her head and a look of anxiety and depression. Her husband was quiet during the entire visit. He was seated in a chair next to the couch and just looked at his wife and did not participate in the conversation. Her son ...

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Can you let things roll off your shoulders? Are you the tough, no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is, stand-your-ground type? Do you show up to work no matter what? Has no one ever seen you cry at work? Are these things resilience? We nurses openly divulge the issues that make us leave the bedside, even amid a vast shortage of nurses. Professional organizations report these issues, and academic, and research institutes aggregate data for a convenient ...

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If you went to go to a museum in New York City and saw a live heart encased in glass, still pumping and pulsating — it would be my heart, shredded into a thousand pieces all in disarray. But it still would be pulsating. This describes my life as a nurse. Nursing was a vacuum that sucked me dry and left me dangling with nothing more to give. Three years left ...

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In 1976, we couldn't wait to be nurses. Our starched white dresses with the nurse caps and stripes symbolized our graduation status as we were called one by one to receive our diploma and a rose. We took an oath to care for the sick, to be professional, to critically think, to respect doctors and to respect patients and family members. And to respect each other. It was the age before computers. We ...

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This article is about learning to protect yourself and your standard of living as a nurse. Now that I am considered a seasoned nurse, I have concluded that there are many essential aspects of the nursing profession that are not discussed during nursing school. It is a shame because many of these topics should be discussed so that new nurses can prepare themselves for issues that may and often occur ...

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