Friday Feature ~ A Tribute to Nurses

Feature Friday
Last month, I celebrated my 34th year of being a nurse.  Do the math to figure out that I am no longer a spring chick!  I still work part-time, but had to give up the hospital scene several years ago. 

Although National Nurses Day was May 6, I decided to use the anniversary of my becoming a nurse to pay a belated tribute to nurses. 

My Friday Feature honors nurses everywhere.

When I graduated from nursing school, healthcare was drastically different from today.  It was during the beginning stages of HMO’s, but long before talk of healthcare exchanges.  It was prior to the discovery of HIV, with its associated blood borne precautions.  Healthcare was changing back then, too, but just not at the rapid pace of today.

Even with the changes in healthcare, though, nurses are still a critical part in its delivery.  For those who have required hospitalization, or know someone who has, you can attest to the fact that good nursing care is one of the key components to a successful stay. 

A nurse, especially a good one, leaves a lasting memory for patients and their families. Thankfully, for the profession, the outstanding nurses make such an impression that they often dim the memories of the inept.  I remember very well the terrific ICU nurses who cared for my dad prior to his death, for both their skill level and compassion.  Any uncaring or inferior ones, we have long since forgotten.

Nurses just have a way of leaving behind this trail of caring.  I love this quote that speaks to the heart of nursing:

When you’re a nurse, you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.

Elizabeth Nash, RN

Elizabeth Nash, RN  

My favorite nurse was certainly one of those caring types.  Elizabeth, my late mother-in-law shown above, was an old-school nurse.  Many young readers may not even know what the object is on her head, since nursing caps are essentially extinct (thankfully so!).  She was one of those nurses who trained partly in the classroom, but mostly out on the floor, learning theory while at the same time learning how to care.

In my opinion, they were the crème de la crème of nurses.  Even though nurses like Elizabeth would be totally lost today, with the high-tech gadgets and computerized charting, they could nurse the socks off these new whippersnappers, in terms of assessing patients and offering palliative care.  Their breed of nurses was the best.

The old timers are long gone, replaced with the new.  I just hope that the core principles of compassion accompany their training in juggling the demands of higher patient loads, and rapidly changing advances in technology.  Things cannot go back to the way they were, and in all fairness to the newer nurses, they are doing the best they can with the evolving healthcare system.  Either way, nurses are still what make or break the system, and are all in need of thanks for their sacrifices. 

My advice to the new generation of nurses is this:

Talk with your patients, not to them.
Greet them and tell them your name.
And by all means, treat their families the same.

Listen to your patients, even if short on time.
Remember, when you get frazzled beyond despair,
It’s often the little things that show you care.

Observe your patients; assess them well.
Trust what you see as much, if not more,
Than what some machine is beeping forth.

Attend to your patients, go the extra mile.
Treat them with kindness, and put yourself in their place.
For your job as a nurse is not just a job, it is a special calling of grace.

If you know a nurse, thank him or her.  If you are one, we thank you.


38 thoughts on “Friday Feature ~ A Tribute to Nurses

  1. Rene Yoshi

    One of my sisters has been a nurse for more than 20 years, and my other sister just got pinned! Thank you for your heart of compassion and sharing the love of Christ through nursing and your life. 🙂

    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      Sounds like the gift of compassion and caring runs in your family. Although I don’t know your personally, Rene, from reading your posts, I can tell you are one of those, too. Thanks.

      1. Rene Yoshi

        Aww, thank you, Sue! I was hoping to go back to school for nursing or physical therapist assistant, but my daughter developed hypoadrenia, so the timing just wasn’t right. Praise the Lord, her health is improving!

  2. jasonbladd

    many do not realize how rigorous the training is to become a nurse, the level of service they provide, or the sacrifices they endure. Thank you for serving!

  3. Jane Bridges

    Very interesting and great poem!!! Thanks for YOUR many years of dedicated love for patients as God used you to bring about the manifestation of their healing that HE did at the cross!!! Blessings!!!

    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      I am glad you had good nursing care in spite of a bad experience. God is good, and often uses hands like those of nurses to tenderly care for us when we cannot ourselves. Thanks.

  4. theywhoseek

    Sue ~ I have so much respect for nurses and healthcare workers of all types . . . for those who are using the gift that God has given them for Him . . . they bring such care and encouragement. You can tell the difference between those who are just doing their job and those who are doing it out of love and concern . . . and I always feel blessed when God sends one my way. ~ Blessings ~

    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      It is easy to tell which ones are doing it as a job or from the heart. I never knew nursing was in my personality, since I’d much prefer digging in my flower beds than interacting with people. The feedback I’ve gotten from patients is that I do come across as caring, so I guess God knew me well enough to know that I could be His hands and feet as a nurse. Go figure!

      1. theywhoseek

        That’s too funny . . . our Lord sure knows us well! I love digging in my garden and would rather be there too! My past careers were always dealing with people . . . mostly as a General Manager. I am not that outgoing and prefer to be left alone and just do my job, but God had other plans for me and had me run companies instead. II kept asking the Lord why this, why leadership and all I heard was “So you can be my light!” ~ Blessings ~

      2. heavenlyraindrops Post author

        His ways are past finding out. I am soon going to write about a business God called me too, only to see it fail. Was totally out of my comfort zone and even tho it failed, He taught me much along the way. Blessings.

  5. vonhonnauldt

    Wonderful post! On behalf of my mother, who was a nurse, thanks for this tribute. Patients, and even Doctors sometimes, don’t always appreciate these sisters of Florence Nightingale as they should.

    Thanks, again.

    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      Thanks. I am sure you probably saw from her dedication what a tremendously pressure cooker career it can be ~ much expected, little time, little gratitude. However, if your mom is like I imagine she was as a nurse, she probably was one of those caring gems of which I spoke. Blessing and thanks.

      1. vonhonnauldt

        Our younger son was born in a hospital where she had worked. While my wife was still there, a lady probably in her 60s visited and asked if I were related to a certain nurse. I replied that I was her son. She told me what a wonderful nurse and teacher Mom had been. She had been one of her students.

      2. vonhonnauldt

        No, I’m sorry. She went to heaven more that 40 years ago. Never got to meet her then-future daughter-in-law or to cuddle any of her grandchildren. She’d have made a great grandmother!

      3. heavenlyraindrops Post author

        I am so sorry. How wonderful, then, to have gained that insight about what kind of nurse she was. Perhaps in heaven she will finally get to meet them each!

      4. heavenlyraindrops Post author

        Oh, wow. What a journey you guys have had. So hard to understand such difficulties. I imagine for your mom, having her little angel of a grandchild with her in heaven has been special, though. Sorry for your loss. I pray for God’s continued healing in your lives.

      5. vonhonnauldt

        That was a long time ago. God has blessed us with four other children who are grown and doing their part to increase the tribe. We have five grandchildren and one on the way – as well as two who went directly from the womb to the throne room, so Mom has some “grandkids” to love there, as well, though I know that relationships will be a little different. Still…. Besides, the Lord Jesus is there. That’s what really matters.

        Thanks for your love, comments and prayers. You truly are a sister in Christ.

  6. Pure Glory

    Wonderful tribute to nurses who are the glue in the health care industry. I agree that it is often the little things that show you care. Thanks for pouring out your life nursing others to health!

    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      You are welcome. I know of nurses who are much better at it than me, but I give it my all. The one thing I forgot to point out, too, is that nurses are never really off duty. When others know you are a nurse, they come to you knowing that they will find a shoulder to lean on. I try to live my life by being open, when needed. Hopefully, I have fulfilled my role as one of the caring types of nurses. Thanks.

  7. cuffesisters

    Our dad had a special place for nurses and always called them angels unaware. We love our unsung “angels” who take such good care of those we love. Blessings, and thanks for this reminder!

  8. Pingback: Grace is a Fallen Angel | Rodney

  9. Pastor Roland Ledoux

    Sister Sue, thanks for such a great tribute. My mother was a nurse and about the only thing I have left of her is pictures of her in uniform. She passed away when I was only 3. My stepmom though was a nurse also. She is now teaching others to be nurses. In fact back in 1970 I enrolled in a local community college in Washington State in a fairly new Associate Degree R.N. program. I had three months to go until graduation when I dropped out. It wasn’t because I didn’t care for the field, it’s just it took me that long to realize that was not the direction for my life that the Lord wanted. I had just given my heart to the Lord a short time before entering and since Nursing was a part of my family (my father was an orderly) I thought that’s what I was supposed to do. I actually went on to a tech-school a couple of years later, but in the meantime also followed the Holy Spirit’s leading into different aspects of ministry. What I learned in Nursing never left me and in fact because of it, I have a lot more empathy (as opposed to just sympathy) for people and it has actually become a foundation for my ministry; that is, the love, compassion, caring, mercy etc. that so exemplifies most nurses today.
    God bless you for helping us to remember why we are who we are and what it was our families sacrificed for us.

    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      Thanks for sharing your story. We have 4 nurses in my family, and as you saw, my late mother-n-law was one, so I know where you are coming from with it being in the family. I know you must miss not having had the opportunity to be raised by your biological mom, but sounds like God provided you with a good one through your step-mom. He is so good to us that way. Thanks for the kind feedback, and BTW, I did receive your email and will respond. Blessings.


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