NURSES

NURSES

by Sharon Stevens

 

“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you,

but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach,

because you do not live in a world, but a world lives in you.”

Frederick Buechner

On the same day the birth of the future King was celebrated I came across a People magazine dated December 12, 2012 announcing Kate’s pregnancy. Who knew that nine months later a child would be born to the couple, not to the Royal union, but to two young kids, blessed with joy, surrounded by family and friends. This fact of life doesn’t change just because “one” was born with a silver spoon in “ones” mouth. (Upper crust slant there)

Kate was hospitalized for severe nausea and vomiting in December. Quite a scare for the world to witness. Her pregnancy was marred at this time by the death of Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who took a crank call by a radio station posing as the Queen. Can you imagine what kind of wonderful nurse Jacintha must have been? I wonder who the nurses were that attended Kate and William during the delivery. What an honor to be chosen to be there at such a special time in someone’s life.

I was a nurse for so many years in so many capacities on so many floors. I began my nursing career at age sixteen working in a nursing home as an aide caring for pioneers that were still living, listening to their wisdom, sharing their stories. For several years after that I was on the eye, ear, nose, throat and plastic surgery floor doing pre-op and post-op teaching, attending to tonsils, cataracts, burns, and ten days old cleft palate babies. The day surgery kids and cataract patients came in the night before, had their surgery, stayed that night and went home the next day. Now, as soon as their eyes open they are out the door.

And then there was the years I spent on the OB floor and the newborn nursery witnessing births and struggles, elation and tragedy, many times all in the same shift. What a gift those families gave me to let me be a part of the circle of their life. I also can’t tell you what it meant all the years I worked for an old-fashioned OB/Gyn doctor. Being a nurse for at least three generations of women was not only heart warming but touching in so many ways. And my years as an instructor with the Prepared Childbirth Education League (Lamaze teacher) gave me such insight in couples interaction and the dynamics

I wished I had an idea of how many thousands of seminars, workshops, classes etc. that I have attended with almost 50 years of nursing. My mother was a nurse and graduate of Northwest Texas Hospital School of Nursing, her first job at the Neblett Hospital hired by Dr. Neblett himself. My great aunt was a nurse in Galveston and died during the flu epidemic of 1918 after she had attended a family with the flu. They said when she came home that day, put her head down on the table and died. What a tragic legacy to remember. My grandmother didn’t want mother to go into nursing for just that reason. Over the years in my nursing career there have been so many wonderful mentors that have given me terrific guidance. At Palo Duro Hospital I learned such skills and care by those who share their passion and love through their dedication in a small town, rural hospital. Living or legacy I gain inspiration from them all. Florence Nightingale, a “social entrepreneur” is just one of the nurses-the ladies with the lamp-who led the way.

As a writer and nurse I know there are billions of opportunities to write in this field. Not to expose any secrets, but to share of life. There are so many nursing magazines that welcome stories for their pages. Blogs about empathy and caring abound throughout the world. Even if you aren’t a nurse, at one time in your life you were probably a patient. Focus on a memory concerning your experience and celebrate something connected. Think about sending a note to the hospital even though it may have been years. Nurses always appreciate sweet thoughts to sustain them through dark days. Even if that particular person is long gone. The sentiment will always remain the same.  I still treasure the notes I received so many years ago.

That reminds me, I have about a thousand stories I need to write, and about a gazillion letters to send. I better get busy. Prince George will be grown before you know it.

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