7 Things Your Nurse Wants you to Know

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Nursing is an amazing career full of passionate, kind, brilliant women and men with years of education and experience in caring for sick and injured patients. We spoke with several nurses around our health system to find out what they want you to know about their profession.

  • "Nurses are jacks of all trades. We check medications like pharmacists, mobilize patients with physical therapy and occupational therapy, feed and ensure adequate nutrition with dieticians, provide feedback on medical plans with physicians, give emotional and spiritual support alongside chaplains. At any given moment, nurses must play multiple roles to ensure our patients receive the best and safest care. So many times, we are more than 'just a nurse’. "
  • "Nursing is hard. We work long hours doing physically intensive work dealing with literally life and death issues. It can drain you emotionally with stories of joy and loss. Some days, you can feel like you're drowning in work and can't catch up and end up staying hours after your shift ended to finish charting. There are days you will question why you entered into this profession. But when we get a success story, like reviving a patient after a cardiac arrest or early detection of a stroke that allowed for immediate intervention or just having a patient say 'Thank you for making me feel better,' it makes all the long hours and sore feet worth it. I would choose nursing time and again if I had to do it over."
  • “Basically you're the ‘Olivia Pope’ of clinical quality, you fix it. The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) role is probably the most unknown nursing role, but it’s the most diverse in the opportunities it can provide. I'm never bored because how I function is ever changing from education to research, coaching to consulting, I do it all. If pursuing an advanced degree is in your future as a nurse, consider the CNS role, there aren't enough of us and we don't talk about them as often as we should. It's the most rewarding professional decision I've ever made!”
  • “Nurses are exposed to so many different conditions during their training and clinical experience that they often want to eagerly share the ‘grossest’ with their colleagues at least 5 times, usually over a meal.”
  • “Nurses want their patients and families to be involved in their care and will spend sometimes hours educating them. We want them to practice healthy lifestyles and are excited when we see improvement in their health. “
  • “Nursing isn’t just taking care of sick people. Patients leave a lasting impression on our lives. To hold the hand of a sweet elderly lady during the last moments of her life, to pray and solace the mother of a child after their first seizure, or to encourage the young man to walk with crutches after his ATV accident. I may have helped each of these patients, but the real truth is they helped me. I am a better person because of each opportunity granted for me to impact the life of another. “
  • “Nursing is a calling. It takes an extraordinary kind of person to be able to fulfill the role of nurse. Throughout my life, I have always had this innate desire to want to help people. When my younger brother with Downs Syndrome was born, he had many complications including one that led to a life threatening incident. It was through the compassion and care conveyed by his nurses that solidified my “calling” in life. Although they may have thought that ‘they were just doing their job’, their actions forever influenced my life. They inspired me to make a difference in the lives of others as they did for me.”

Thank you to Ochsner nurses, Charlie Ho, Kenesha Bradley, Joan Rooney and Brittany Leblanc for their input.

To all the nurses out there, Happy Nurses Week!

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