What’s the Best Part About…

“the prettiest thing you’ll ever see…”

I’m gonna sing this song
To let you know that you’re not alone
And if you’re like me
You need hope, coffee, and melody

So sit back down
Let the world keep spinning ‘round
For yesterday’s gone and today is
waiting on you to show your face

“…being a nurse?” my patient’s husband asked me.

I hesitated.

He had been watching my every step and move, like a secret service agent protecting a VIP. “Why are you giving her that medicine?” “Why do you want her to be sedated?” “Why are you not doing what the other nurse did?” “Whoa whoa…. what are you doing…what are you doing?!”

It might not be
The prettiest thing that you’ll ever see
But it’s a new day, oh baby, it’s a new day
And it might not look like
A beautiful sunrise
But it’s a new day, oh baby, it’s a new day

I knew his caution and concern were steeped in love. He held his wife’s hand, even though she couldn’t squeeze his hand back. He talked to her, even though she couldn’t talk back. And he lied on the chair and slept there every night, just waiting for her to wake up.

I’m a pilgrim soul
I’ve traveled far and come back home
This land is hard and cold
For those who long to love
And I know it might seem
That the world is crumbling
But it’s me and you dancing in the kitchen at 2 am
And we’re still alive

But it was hard – I tried to remember everything I was supposed to remember. I tried to explain all the rationale behind my actions. I tried to multitask and talk to him at the same time, so he wouldn’t feel like I was a robot simply going through the motions.

“Mmm…there are a lot of things I like about being a nurse,” I managed. I wished I could elaborate my thoughts better, but my head was foggy. I had been on my feet the entire 12 hours. I never took a break, I didn’t eat lunch, I didn’t even drink water. I only went to pee once.

It’s the calm of the storm that comes blowing in
It’s the springtime saying I’m back again
The clouds that roll by
Crossing moonlight

“Like what?” he persisted. “If you had to choose one thing, what is it?”

I paused.

“The best part is…really getting to know patients. Being here 12 hours a day, you begin to notice things because you spend the most time with the patient. So if there’s a problem, you can catch it before it happens because you know what is normal for them and what is not. Because you know the patient really well,” I attempted to explain.

Me and you love – everything’s alright
Standing in the rain with nowhere to go
Laughing and we’re spinning and I hope that you…

He nodded.

“You’re right. That’s the perfect answer. That’s exactly I was looking for.

Remember this day
For the rest of your life
Me and you love – everything’s gonna be alright

Someone who understands.
And someone who wants to be here for the right reasons.
And that’s what makes a good nurse.”

And it just might be
The prettiest thing that you’ll ever see
It’s a new day
Oh baby, it’s a new day
If you look outside
To see a beautiful sunrise

It’s a new day.

(a repost from my old blog. August 2008.)

~ ~ ~

A fellow blogger had asked me why I have been a hospital nurse for so many years (at least, longer than I had expected). I have been thinking about how I would answer her, and my memory kept thinking back to this one particular patient and family.  I just can’t summarize it all into one sentence… the intrinsic joy of caring for my patients, the encounters with their families, the precious, intimate moments of sadness or joy that fall in between… all reasons why I love being a  nurse at the bedside.
Currently listening: Robbie Seay Band – New Day

4 thoughts on “What’s the Best Part About…

  1. Thank you so much for your post. For some reason, the link didn’t show up on my wordpress app.
    I hope to always retain that feeling of wanting to be there when I become a nurse. I am so afraid that I’ll be stuck with bad coworkers that would make my job terrible. This is why I’ve been feeling so unhappy about clinicals because my fellow classmate’s lack of good hand hygiene poses a risk for patients.. and it’s not just her. I’ve seen a doctor walked into an isolation room without any PPE on. It frustrates me so much.

    And thanks, I like this song.

  2. I never wanted to be a nurse. Ever. I was not a fan of needles or blood or science… I wanted to help people but wanted to find a way to do it that didn’t relate to medical care. But, from my rock-climbing accident in particular, I know just how important a good nurse you trust is. You are a wonderful nurse and have impacted so many lives for good, Sophia. Bless you.

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