To nurses, with love

I write this in honor of Tina, a lovely lady friend in the midst of her nursing training.  I have a bias and let me make it crystal clear.  I think God probably has reserved a special place in heaven for nurses.

Nursing school can be grueling.  Nurses must understand and be conversant with all aspects of medicine.  While not in the same depth, nurses must cover virtually all the topics medical school students must cover, only with a lot less time to absorb it all.  Beyond that, nurses must become adept at many procedures few physicians ever perform.  It is tough.

I learned early on in my medical school training how important nurses were in the life of a physician.  As I started my first hospital rotation with very little theoretical knowledge and almost no medical experience, I learned quickly that nurses possessed a wealth of valuable practical knowledge.  Not only could they keep my patients out of trouble, they often kept me out of trouble and made my life much easier.  I have always held the nurses I worked with in high esteem, and as far as I can tell they have returned that sentiment.

A nurse’s life can be tough at times.  Their patient’s personalities can change for the worse when they are sick, hurting or scared.  Families can be even more difficult.  Add to this that hospital administrators do not always completely understand the role nurses play and the difficulties they face.  Then there are certain physicians that can be arrogant and unreasonably demanding, which can easily cause a nurse to feel less than competent.

Hopefully, you will take these difficulties in stride and you will fully appreciate your value on the health care team.  You are entering a very privileged position in society.  You will form bonds with your patients stronger than anyone else in your hospital.  You will know them better and be in an ideal position to greatly help them through the many worries and discomforts that their diagnostic studies and treatments entail.  You will comfort them, relieve their distress and help speed their healing.  You already know the power of a kind word and a smile.  I know you will use them often.

I thank you for being willing to take on the difficult tasks ahead of you.  I know you and I know you will find your work fulfilling and your patients will be much better off for your careful and compassionate efforts.

Love to you, Tina, and to all nurses, everywhere.

Chuck

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About Chuck Gebhardt

I am a physician specializing in internal medicine. I sub-specialize in nutritional medicine. I am very interested in all areas of healing research, not necessarily limited to traditional medicine topics.
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2 Responses to To nurses, with love

  1. Tina Giovingo says:

    Chuck, WOW!!!!! I am honored and humbled by your kind words….I don’t know what to say, and you know that I’m not often speechless~~~ Thank you for sharing your insights on the dedication of the nursing profession. You, as usual continue to inspire me and hopefully nurses everywhere.! It’s Doctors like you that makes nurses lives a little easier.Thank you for your support!!! Love, Tina

    • Thanks, Tina. When I was in medical school, I was taken a bit aback by how competitive the learning environment was. I had far more life experiences than most medical students when I entered the Univ of Penna. I kept saying to myself “No, no it shouldn’t be like this.” Medicine should not be competitive. It is about helping each other, whether it be to learn, to find a correct diagnosis or to help someone recover from an illness. I think we medical professionals easily carry the competitiveness of our schooling over into our later careers if we are not careful. Nurses have always helped make my work easier, and I always try to help make their work easier whenever I can. We all need to work together as a team and pull together. Unfortunately it is not always like that, often perhaps, but not always.

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