Wellness

A Salute to Nurses and Our Hospital Team: 2018 National Nurses and Hospital Week

May 11 • 2018

Nurses are the heart of our organization. While they are not alone in providing care, they certainly are in the center of hospital activity. You will see them at the bedside, at nurses’ stations, in the field and in offices. Sometimes their hard work seems to go unnoticed. But the truth is, someone always notices what they do. Whether a patient, family member, hospital leader or another nurse, someone notices and appreciates all that our nurses do.

A great example of this was shared by a nurse within the Baptist Memorial Health Care system. Lauren Yates was a patient in one of our hospitals almost 20 years ago, and today she still remembers the nurse who took care of her. After the medical care Lauren needed had been provided, her nurse’s extra effort made all the difference. The nurse simply held Lauren’s hand and asked if there was anything she could do to help her feel better. Lauren responded that maybe something to eat would help. Food service had already closed but the nurse returned a short time later with a Lunchable. That nurse probably had no idea how her small gesture would affect Lauren.

“Months later, in one of those middle of the night ‘light bulb’ moments, I realized that the nurse had given me her own dinner. As I thought about how she had gone without so I could feel just a little bit better, and knowing I had not thanked her for her sacrifice, I decided that I too needed to be that kind of nurse. I still wanted to be a nurse who had excellent practice skills, but I also needed to be a nurse who looked beyond the physical and cared for the emotional needs of my patients too. That nurse’s gesture of empathy and kindness demonstrated evidence of the culture at Baptist and was a deciding factor in why I chose to work at Baptist not long after.

Since then, I have witnessed countless gestures of kindness to patients and to other Baptist family members. I have heard a newly diagnosed cancer patient thank a nurse who gave him money out of his pocket to pay a utility bill, and I have seen staff collect money for bus fare to bring a housekeeper’s son home for Christmas. I have watched nursing assistants and monitor techs hold hands and sing ‘Amazing Grace’ at the bedside with the 15-year-old son of a patient as she was dying.

I think of that nurse and that sandwich when asked to describe moments that inspired me as a nurse. I am still grateful to work for an organization that values physical and spiritual nourishment ….to feed the patient who feels empty….’”

Thank you for sharing your story, Lauren. Now, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our nurses and the rest of our hospital team for all that they do. I know I can’t cover everything in a blog post, but I wanted to make sure our nurses and caregivers know their efforts are appreciated. For all of the double shifts, missed meals, sleepless nights, long drives and unrecognized sacrifices, thank you.

I invite you to join me in celebrating and thanking our nurses and hospital team. Please share your story or leave a comment below.