As nurses we are reminded of the tragedies of life every day we work. We have so much to be grateful for and don’t need a special holiday to remind us of our fortunes. I chose nursing for job security and a living wage so I could care for my children. I have been grateful that I had the opportunity to work and to grow in the healthcare field.
There is much in life to be thankful for and not just on special holidays. As a nurse there is always stress with nursing. Work is never finished and many times I work through breaks or lunch. The hours may be long and pay not the best but still I am thankful. On occasion when I do not get holidays off to spend with family I am still thankful for many things in this life.
I Give Thanks
I am thankful that I have been and am in good health. So many have lost the ability to perform some or all of their daily activities. They have lost their good health to disease or illness. Caring for those who share their tears as they struggle but hide their emotions from family.
I am thankful for the remarkable advancements in medicine. I watched a young man with a severe closed head trauma on life support with not much chance to survive now able to go back to work and provide for his family. Through prayer and the compassionate work of those caring for him he has little residual effects of his accident. The things we take for granted such as vaccines that wiped out childhood disease that at one time killed so many babies.
I am thankful for a job with great benefits. Even though I have good health I have healthcare for the time I may need it. I realize many still have no coverage I have seen patients come into the hospital who wait until the very last second to seek treatment because they can’t afford to pay or take time away from work. I have seen patients who try to self treat with home remedies. The one that stands out the most is a woman who treated an open wound with turpentine and sugar. When she finally came in it was determined that she had a cancer that had actually eaten from the inside out.
Family and Friends
I am thankful for friends and family who have been understanding and supportive of me. My heart hurts for those patients who shift after shift no one comes to see them. I have spent extra time sitting vigil with patients as they die so they do not die alone. If I think about their loneliness it hurts too much.
I am thankful at the end of a long hard shift when I can turn off the noise of the day. I get into my car and shut out the sound of the day. All the ringing phones, patients crying out, pumps beeping and alarms going off fade away. I am thankful that I have done my best to be kind, compassionate and understanding with patients and the staff I work with.
Most of all I am thankful for the life I have. I am able to go home to my dogs as they greet me at the door with tails wagging. I realize that my life does not change after spending my time at work supporting my patients emotionally through whatever challenge they have had to overcome that day. My work makes me realize how grateful I am for all I have.
As you celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday, whether at home with friends and family or on assignment with colleagues, remember to count your blessings. Be grateful for this life you chose and the life you have.