May 7, 2018 | Sherry Dillon, RN, CPHRM
A nurse’s tribute to Nurses Week
This month marks my 25th year as a registered nurse. Going into nursing is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate a quarter century of my own nursing contributions than by paying tribute to my fellow and future colleagues. I look forward to seeing the nursing students of today join the ranks of one of the most invaluable and noble professions.
The American Nurses Association describes the, “21st century nurse as the glue that holds a patient’s health care journey together. Across the entire patient experience, and wherever there is someone in need of care, nurses work tirelessly to identify and protect the needs of the individual.”
Truer words have never been spoken. From the nurses that triage patients upon emergency department arrival, to the nurse that ensures a flawless patient discharge; nurses across the entire spectrum of care are advocating for their patients every step of the way.
Nurses are among the first to welcome a new life, comfort the dying, save a life, understand the misunderstood, give hope to the hopeless, fight for the ones without a voice, and create solutions for the betterment of the patient and profession.
The “patient”. That is another interesting word that not only augments the role of the nurse but encompasses every aspect of its definition. The word patient originally meant, “one who suffers”, from the latin word patiens. Those who suffer are cared for by a nurse, whose role it is to reduce suffering by “holding the patient’s health journey together.”
I’ve worked alongside many amazing nurses throughout my career and today, publicly, I have the honor to pay tribute:
My first mentor, who encouraged me as a new grad, taught me how to talk to a physician in the middle of the night without retribution, and helped me through my first, “code blue”. She went against the cliché’ that “nurses eat their young” and built my confidence up daily. I will never forget you my small and mighty giant!
Yet another of my seasoned night shift nurse colleagues when I was new to the profession. I was always amazed at how calm she was regardless of the circumstances around her. She planned her work and worked her plan—accounting for the chaos that would always arise, from the frustrated family member to the crashing hip replacement that lost too much blood post-surgery—You were a solid wall that kept my own angst in check.
Emergency Nurse Team
The team of emergency department nurses on that fateful day when a father carried in his lifeless, young son who was just in n 4-wheeler accident. One of those nurses, off-duty at the time who just happened to be in the ED with her ailing mother sprung into action quickly as the tormented father dug into his shirt pocket and handed part of his son’s lower jaw to the admissions clerk. That patient, was revived, stabilized and transferred by helicopter within 37 minutes of arrival. As far as I know, he is alive and well today after a long recovery process. I witnessed, heroic feats in action from the entire clinical team that day working quickly to save a patient. I also witnessed the sigh of relief as well as the emotional flood of tears that could no longer be contained after the helicopter lifted off the hospital campus from even the toughest clinicians in the room. To the ED nurses that day—you showed us grace, speed, competency at work, and endless compassion.
My previous colleague and chief nursing officer for Press Ganey paved the way to ensure that every patient receives compassionate, connected, care as well as not only promote but demand nurses continue to invest in higher education to provide the highest standard of care possible. Thank you for setting the bar high for us all to achieve.
My nurse manager who wasn’t afraid to put on that white uniform (yes, white!) when the patient to nurse ratio was too high—any shift at any time. Thank you for digging in the trenches when it wasn’t even expected.
My Bravado Health Family
And finally my colleagues today who have all worked directly/indirectly tirelessly to ensure that every patient receives a high quality discharge. I cannot imagine a better team of nurses that I would rather be doing our groundbreaking work with:
- Susan Pasley, RN, MSN, vice president of nursing. Prior ED nurse, patient experience advisor, educator, researcher.
- Maggie Morris, senior director of product management. Prior ICU nurse with a dual degree in computer science.
- Gaither Pennington, RN, BSN, product owner. Prior medic in the Navy, ED nurse, and quality measurement expert.
- Kayla Valiquette, BSN, RNC-NIC, education and research coordinator. Prior pediatric intensive care nurse, educator, and implementation specialist.
To every nurse out there, student or veteran, and on behalf of Bravado Health, thank you! Your work does not go unnoticed.