International Nurses Day (IND) is an international day celebrated around the world on 12 May of each year, to mark the contributions nurses make to society.
Nurses have been a big part of my life as a patient with a chronic condition. They have often been my saviours and the reason I have always been able to be positive in time of darkness. So today I thought I would share a story of a nurse who I cherished and would like to take this opportunity to share the difference she made to my experience as a patient.
This nurse, who we will go Emily for the sake of this story, was someone who I had seen rise through the ranks from a training nurse to a fully qualified nurse during my time as a patient at Lewisham Hospital between the age of 5 - 12. And I always remembered her for her caring smile, understanding tone of voice and her personable manner. Emily really made an impression on me when she was training and she always was more than happy to come and sit with me and keep me company while I was in the midst of my 6 - 8 months stints in hospital in traction, which was becoming rather commonplace for me around that age.
Being in hospital is never easy, especially as a patient. However, it becomes increasingly difficult to endure as you become isolated from your friends, peers and anyone else but doctors and nurses. On admissions, after the pain was under control, I became my long time isolation until I was fit enough to go home. Often going into my shell for days on end and just being more reclusive then normal. However, Emily was able to change that, she always was up for getting me engaged, talking about the events of the day and topical things which was going on in the world. Being trapped in hospital in those days often meant disengagement with the outside world, but Emily helped change that for me. Every time she was on duty I was the happiest patient because I knew I was going to have a smile on my face throughout the day. I would be appreciated, talked to as a real human being and not a patient.
The moment that really sticks with me to this day was an admission I had shortly after my 12th birthday. I had just been admitted to the Children's Ward at Lewisham Hospital and I was still in the intensive monitoring part of the ward while they attempted to get my pain under control. On that night, Emily happened to be on the ward after having done another shift elsewhere. When she saw my name on the board of patients she came over instantly and tried to calm me down and sat with me and read me stories from the paper and short novels on the ward until I fell asleep.
This is one extra mile that one particular, but very special nurse took that I will never forget. What Emily did that night was what I think all nurses are very good at, at caring and looking after their patients as real people with real lives.
So, with that I would like to thank you Emily and all nurses, past, present and future for all you have done, are doing and will do. You are the spirit that keeps the hospital going but also helps keep the spirit in us, the patients, going. Thank you!
This is a collection of articles, news, videos which I have come across and thought it is worth sharing and recording for future reference. The topics of these posts will vary and there really is no theme, apart from the fact I find them to be thought provoking.