February might be a shorter month than most, but there wasn’t a shortage of exceptional nurses taking the news media by storm.
Nurses using their voice can be as simple and accessible as this brief letter written by Alice Coscia, and printed in the NY Times, in response to an article written by a physician who came to appreciate the role of the nurse when he found himself a patient needing excellent nursing care.
“Being a patient is humbling and, as in Dr. Relman’s case, often results in an appreciation of all those who contribute to recovery.
Nursing is a distinct discipline. We do not work for physicians, but rather with physicians in a complementary manner to help patients.”
Tampa Bay Times
The Tampa Bay Times profiled an emerging trend in patient care: Nurse Guides. These are nurses who use their expertise and industry knowledge to advocate for a patient as they navigate through the healthcare jungle. Scherer, who started her business called RN Cancer Guides last year, said she routinely sees the fallout of the medical system’s shortcomings. Just a few examples: duplicate MRIs, unnecessary medications and miscommunication over treatment options.
“You see patients falling through the cracks, and it’s everywhere,” Scherer said. “A lot of our patients say, ‘I’m not getting heard.’ “
The Grand Rapids Press
The Grand Rapids Press published a beautiful account of what it means to work in pediatric oncology, in a poignantly touching piece written by Courtney May, a pediatric oncology nurse at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
“I work where families are confronted with their biggest nightmare, and where children face the battle of their lives, a notion that can merely be explained scientifically and on no other grounds.
I work where lives are changed in an instant with the discovery of a diagnosis, knowing things will get much worse before there is any chance of them getting better.”
“You become my ‘friends’ while we spend 36 hours a week together. After months of this, we have shared more conversation than I have with some of my closest friends. We have shared times of pain and times of joy. We have cried together and we have shared laughter. In some cases we share bonds that will extend far beyond the NICU. Thank you for being my friend.
You forgive me when I speak medical jargon. I’ve told you so many times about bradys, saturations and emesis that you start to speak the language back to me. You learn to convert grams to pounds and ounces in your head instantly (or you get an app for that). You celebrate every one of those grams gained like trophies earned; bowel movements become reason for celebration, too.”
Charlotte based nurse, Julie Simmons is featured on USA Today. She hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro, a life goal of hers. As the leader of the Trauma Survivors Network, Simmons works with patients who suffered extensive physical injury related to trauma, many of whom are amputees. From thousands of miles away, they were her cheer squad.
They became a part of Simmons’ journey, from signing the poles she used on the hike to the note cards they gave her with encouraging words.
Simmons’ patients knew a thing or two about what it means to face a challenge. “They hike their own Kilimanjaro, individually, every day,” she said.