I was just thinking of how I love being a nurse.
One night, I was on one of my resident’s room to give her medication. She noticed my colorful band. She told me how pretty it looks. I told her that my daughter and I made it. I decided to give it to her since I know that I can make another. She refused at first knowing that it was made by my daughter and I and she thought there could be something special about it. I insisted, I slipped it thru her wrist, rest assured that it was cheerfully given. She had a big grin in her face and her eyes says it all. The most important part of that moment was when she said, “You know, you can find joy in every little things in this world; but the trouble with us, people, we just look and we don’t see”. I looked at her astonished because some days she is confused and talk to herself a lot. She asked, “I hope you understand what I mean.” I said, “Yes I do.” She made sense.
This made me realize how much I missed in life and how much I have that I did not realize that I could have been so grateful for.
I imagine my life coming to work sometimes frustrated because of the chaos at home or an eventful traffic on my way to work or just being not in the mood. I though it should be me who could have realize that there is joy in every little things; I am active, young, doing a lot of stuff from here to there, I could have seen that because I meet a lot of going on everyday. But no, I didn’t. I missed a lot. I haven’t learned enough. Sometimes I am not grateful. I complained. I am blinded with my busy schedule and everything I can think of to excuse and cover myself.
I came to work that day to be her nurse, to make her feel comfortable and that she is well taken care of. Instead, I came to work to be lighten up and to have my mind cleared.
I should not assume that they don’t have anything to do because they just lay in bed or sit in their wheelchair all day, propel themselves back and forth in the hallway, yells and screams wanting to go home. The nursing home is their home. They can be confused, some won’t recognize their love ones who come to visit, refuse to eat because they think we, nurses, put poison on it. They curse and can be combative. They have their moments. With all these, they are thinking. In their quiet time maybe they are busy reminiscing the good old days, maybe they are praying, maybe they are waiting and expecting for somebody to come and brighten their day. I don’t know. They’re maybe confused but they are watching what’s going on around them. They live their life for a very long time that they have so much to say and share. I would hear them being grateful. They have a good heart. They long to go back to their old home and be surrounded with their love ones. It is heartbreaking. They are the ones whose eyes are full of excitement when you enter the room because they realize at least somebody is here to fetch them water or at least to give them time even so little to say hi and look at them. I normally ask how they are doing and they will ask the same which I often miss to acknowledge because I am preoccupied of the next resident to be taken care of.
Last night, I asked the resident if I can sit on her bed while tapping it to make sure I won’t sit on her leg. She said with a laugh, “You forgot! I have no leg on that side.” She is right and with it. After taking her medication I told her I have to get back to work. She said, “I really would love you to sit here awhile and talk.” As we talked, I told her that my 7 years old daughter would sometimes asked me to just sit and talk to her when she is not busy and I would ask her what she wants to talk about. She would answer, “Let’s talk about life, Mama.” My resident laughed, and it lead her to more questions. I did find time to answer all of it. She finally said with tap on my shoulder, “Okay you can go now, I know you have more work to do.” I got off from her bed side, told her good night. “When will I see you again?” she asked. “I’ll see you next time, I don’t know when.”
What it means to be a nurse is allowing your patient to take your TIME. It’s more than occupying and filling that place. It is more than giving their medication and other medical treatment. It is about seeing, listening and meeting the need that you can’t find on their doctor’s order.
They would rather take your TIME than their medication, I guess.