Today was a terrible day. A terribly wonderful day. Or night, I should say, since I’m working the night shift. I woke up 6:56. In my grogginess I looked at the clock. That can’t be right. Then like the moment from Home Alone when the McCallisters realize they all woke up late and go scrambling around like chickens with their head cut off, leaving their child all home alone. Yep. That scene describes my night. Considering I’m usually to work by 6:50pm. To top it off, as I’m trying to get into the door that I have used EVERY single day, it is locked. LOCKED. In a panic, and now starting to break out in a sweat, I start doing a serious mall walk to get me to the next closest door.
As I arrive on the unit, I find out I am being floating to another unit. Let’s just say it’s different people than I’m used to, and it’s super busy because everyone and their dog has post op vitals I need to keep up with. So I fly into the unit I’m floating to in a frenzy. Grab an assignment sheet and sit down at a desk. Finally. 7:20pm. I have never been later than 2 minutes to work in my whole entire life, and that time I was 2 minutes late only happened once. Suddenly I realize the staff are staring at me. Yep. I am down the wrong wing, in the flurry to get to my position, I go to the wrong place. Again. Are you tracking with me why this night straight up sucked? And then I get a call from my supervisor that she needs to see me. I don’t curse often, but in my mind, I just thought, “Oh s&*t.” (Don’t get me wrong, my coordinators are WONDERFUL, but I was ready for some repercussion. I mean, sure, I shut my alarm off in my sleep, it was an accident. But still, I’m responsible.)
So as I am returning to my home unit, I am preparing myself for the worst. But when I arrive I burst into tears. But not sad tears, very very happy tears. My coordinator has a huge smile on her face, like always, and I’m realizing now that I’m really not in trouble.
As I look down the hallway I see the family of my patient that had died just a few days earlier that I had the privileged and honor of taking care of for three nights. (NOTE: I work on a floor with palliative care, extremely similar to hospice). We had long conversations full of laughter and tears and shared memories of this man’s life. This husband, and father, and brother. The family came back to say goodbye to me and say thank you to all the staff for providing such good care. They even brought cookies and flowers. And let me tell you, I needed a good cry right about then with my chocolate chip monster cookie. As they hugs me goodbye, they called the nurses angels, and many other things that are a blessing to hear. If you are a nurse you know this is extremely rare. We don’t always get a thank you, and we hardly ever get a family that comes back up to the floor to say their good byes. So if your a patient, please take time to show your appreciation. You have no idea what it means to us, and how it motivates us to be a “Joyful Nurse.”
So, all in all. I wouldn’t trade this night for anything. I love my job, even through the tough moments. I love my patients. And I am so blessed.
Sending thanks for all you do and all you are,
**FYI: I was SO excited about my blog when I first launched and was posting nearly every day. But there’s this thing called burn out. And writers block. And I really want to keep that from happening so my posts and inspirations stay fresh. And so that you as a reader get more time in the week to read and enjoy my posts more fully. So plan on 1-2 new posts a week from thejoyfulnurse.com Thanks for the support in the journey.