Sunday, February 25, 2007

On Being a Nurse

I have learned a lot about being a nurse the last 6 weeks. While Bill was in the hospital, I watched the nurses closely. I saw how they shaved him, and when he came home, I duplicated that. So far, knock on wood, I haven’t given him a knick. When the kids were little I played nurse on quite a few occasions. By coincidence, I have nursed 6 kids through chicken pox.

I have always admired nurses. They acquire an astonishing facility to do things most people couldn’t bring themselves to do: draw blood relatively painlessly, stick needles into tender body parts, and take care of various bodily wastes in a manner that doesn’t embarrass the patient. They also have a knack for getting the patient to do what he should be doing, eating or drinking the noxious substance or taking a pill, without sounding like a harridan.

When my dad was in the nursing home, not in his right mind, I heard a nurse say to him, laughing, “You like my poobahs, don’t you.” The nurse was from the Caribbean, and I realized that her poobahs were her breasts and that my father had touched them. She was not only kind to him, but pleasantly kind.

Over in One Word, Zhoen writes about being a nurse in the operating room. She seems to revel in her competence. To have that kind of competence in such an important job must be truly wonderful.


Zhoen said...

Oh. Thank you.

I am so glad you have encountered so many good nurses.

We just have an entirely wrong sense of what is fun.

Litlove said...

I simply couldn't be a nurse - I don't have any of the resources it takes. So I admire them unreservedly. And I also loved Shoen's comment!

Mr Murray said...

When I had the chance to work as a nurse's aid in Eastern Quebec, I performed tasks from developing X-rays to bathing patients. I was so surprised once when shaving cardiac patients beards, and these visibly weak men would muster a very sincere and strong 'merci.' But the tragedy was too much for me, and the final straw was when a sweet little fellow who liked to hide under the water basin cabinet in his room had to be taken back to his chair and tied to it. I preferred to leave him in his little den, but the nurses insisted I tie him up each time he escaped. It struck me even more while studying engineering, how difficult the degree program for nursing at UNB was - and that nurses are severely underestimated and underpaid in Canada.

Anonymous said...

Kudos! Very informative article, keep up the good work!
This blog will be one of the many that I visit everyday.

Best of luck,