Thursday, February 02, 2012

Do I like being a nurse?

Some days being a nurse is hard. The work can be back breaking. The pay is mediocre. Most days are extremely busy, but today one of those small things happened that made me feel it was good to be a nurse.

One of my patients was frail and tired and didn't want to get out of bed for his shower. He was cold and had the blankets tucked tight up to his chin. He implored me to leave him to the last which I did but eventually I was firm. Time to get up. You might be having visitors and you look scruffy and uncared for. Despite him promising no one was going to be visiting him I insisted he get up but compromised on a wash by the basin in the bathroom.

I did all the magic I could with warm water and soap as he shivered and sat looking at his reflection. He didn't feel up to shaving so I said I'd do it. His face was thin and gaunt. The cheekbones jutted out and his chin was bony. It was a bit hit and miss. Before long I could see him fighting a smile. I asked him if I was doing it ok? He said I was doing a fine job....for a girl. I told him I was never going to win any competitions for my shaving skills. He chuckled and said it was good I had a day job.

By the time I helped him back into bed in fresh pj's and layered the blankets around him he looked better. Skin all fresh and pink and thin hair combed "just so" As I tucked the blanket tight around his chin he looked up at me with clear ice blue eyes and stared at me. I stopped what I was doing and held his gaze. "You're very kind" he said softly. My eyes filled up as I tucked the last of the blankets in and turned away.

I walked out of his room with a lump in my throat and passed an old lady walking down the corridor. She turned and went into the room I had just left. I stopped and listened and heard her voice sing out  "Oh Bill my sweetheart, you look so much better than you did when I left you yesterday. Look, you've even managed to shave"

And that's why today was a good day to be a nurse.

4 comments - click here to leave your comment:

  1. Darling Gina, you made me cry. What a good woman you are.

  2. Now that's making a difference. It's a good day when you can feel that your actions made that difference.

  3. Oh I love this story! You are very kind!! Keep it up!! I love nurses, especially my very own Bridget Diana!!

  4. Beautiful...your story...and you. :)