An Open Letter to Our Nurses
My heart is joyful when I see new nurses coming into our hospital with a look of determination, admiration and complete compassion on their faces. It grows fonder for them over the years as they grow, face challenges and turn into seasoned nurses who, behind those same eyes, hold experiences of joy, heartache, celebration and grief. Through it all, the ones who are truly meant to care for others keep that same spark and kindness in their eyes throughout their careers.
However, over the past two years, I’ve seen and experienced that spark be covered with tears, exhaustion and frustration. Being a nurse, always carrying this torch, fiercely caring for everyone around you while still being a person with your own worries and troubles outside these walls has been exceptionally difficult.
During the pandemic, I’ve seen our nurses…
- Thrown into nursing units to help with staffing with little warning and training but a fearless, dedicated attitude
- Suffer from discomfort from wearing heavy PPE for hours on end but keep on going
- Caring for a number of patients that is far beyond what they imagined with grace and kindness
- Go a full 12-14 hours without stopping to use the restroom or eat a meal without complaining
- Be closely connected to patients and serve as their only support during the last moments of their lives because their hearts are dedicated to these patients
- Putting their personal emotions and feelings to the side to fight for the greater good of our communities
And so, so much more. We’ve referred to nurses as “heroes” during this crisis. To me, they are heroes. But really, nurses are just human beings who have been placed in the spotlight while they face unimaginable challenges with dignity, dedication and selflessness. They are tired. They are frustrated. They are worried. But at the end of the day, they’re still the ones fighting on the front lines of this battle with the most compassionate hearts I’ve ever seen.
I just want each and every one of our nurses to know that I see you. I hear you. And I am with you. I don’t know when this pandemic will slow down or end, but I do know that I see you trying your hardest to hang in there, care for one another and our patients and families and fight together.
The dictionary defines a hero as a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities. That is a hero in some contexts… but, for us? That’s nursing. It’s what we do.
Thank you for being “ordinary” people who have stepped up to achieve extraordinary things. You are the ultimate connection to our patients and families, and we appreciate your service, dedication and compassion more than you know.
Thank you for being “ordinary” people who have stepped up to achieve extraordinary things.