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Life Changers: The Nurse

The Way I See It

August 5, 2012
By John Sheda , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

One of the great things about writing this weekly column is that my subject matter is only limited by my creativity, imagination and intelligence. Now you all know the trouble I have trying to 'eek out a column each week. In other words, I don't have much to work with. In the past, I've acknowledged our Veterans, our Teachers and a variety of other things. By reading my columns every week, (you do, don't you?), you get a in depth look into my mind. And as all of you know my now.....there just isn't much in there, is there? But as faithful readers, you know that my #1 Pet Peeve is wearing sandals with socks!!! It's like Kryptonite to Superman. I cough, gag, sneeze and get hives. It might be fatal sometime. But enough of that...today I wish to acknowledge "The Nurse."

The first thing I noticed about the word "Nurse," is that if you spell in out backwards, it spells "Saints." That is remarkable. Ok, ok, it doesn't quite spell it out backwards but there are a couple of correct letters. Sometimes in life, things just don't work out perfectly and that's when "imagination" helps out. So for this column, Nurse spelled backwards is Saints. Haruuumph!!

Nurses are an interesting species. They explain in layman's language exactly what the Doctor said. And they explain it in such a way that we actually understand. In the hospital setting, they are super-busy people with a "gazillion" things to do, yet at the same time, will stop and meet your spouse, children, cousins, friends & neighbors and once again explain to everyone that "it's gonna be ok." And they always have a great smile on their faces and so doggone perky.

Article Photos

Nurses make sure all the tubes are in correctly, your vital signs are under control and try to answer any and all questions they can without delving too much into the doctor's arena. They take the time to stay with you and comfort you. They work around and in the most stressful of situations and most do it with a sense of love, empathy and compassion. Nurses are around at both spectrums of life, the beginning and the end and all that's in between. Yet, they remain cheerful and optimistic.

The Nurse has the innate ability to even share bad news with so much love that the patient and family members remain grateful long after their ordeal. This is not just a talent, it is a special gift.

But perhaps the greatest attribute the Nurse has is his or her way of saying, "I understand." And they do. We all have had nurses in our lives from time to time. From the school nurse administering shots, helping with physicals, volunteering for blood donations, working in the private practice realm to the Mental Health Nurse, ICU Nurse, surgical Nurse and sometimes the Hospice Nurse. And our stay in any of these areas have been made easier because of them.

I understand that Nurse's Week was way back in May, but there is a method to my madness. Last week, I had the distinct honor and privilege to attend the 2012 Nurse's Pinning Ceremony at Hawkeye Community College. Graduates of the LPN and RN program were honored. It was exciting to see nurses of all stages of their lives receive their nursing pins. They most definitely earned them.

There was one lady in particular who five years ago began her quest to become a Nurse. That lady is my daughter. Congratulations to all the graduating Nurses and to Nurses everywhere. Here is the Florence Nightingale Pledge they made that night: "I solemnly pledge myself before God and presence of this assembly; to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care."

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