Sunday, January 23, 2011

Yay, Nurses

To put it mildly, nurses amaze me. There never seem to be enough of them to go around, and almost without exception, they still manage to be upbeat, patient and compassionate. Nothing at all against physicians, but they're not the ones who have to change the catheter or the soiled bed, or deal with frustrated patients losing their tempers because they're not getting enough attention, or getting it quickly enough.

A nurse with a big, booming voice and a wonderful Bosnian accent just had Dad laughing -- no mean feat, given the fact that he really can't hear. When Dad was hospitalized downtown last year, a wonderful nurse named Tricia traveled to West Des Moines on her own time to bring us the walker we had forgotten. Another named Marina, who has taken care of Dad many times over the past two years, brought us Russian recipes and helped keep our spirits up. And those are just three of many.

My sister is a nurse, and for her, it's not just been a vocation, but a lifetime passion that has carried over into her care of our father. My profession is inherently so self-focused that it humbles me to be in the presence of people who spend their days not thinking a whole lot, if at all, about themselves.

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