Apology from a Nurse

purple rose

Dear Anonymous Reader,

I wrote this, because last night I had a patient that told his son that she wants to hold his hand. While the patient is holding his son’s hand she said, I feel very sad, this is the first human touch I had today”. This lady is dying. As a nurse it breaks my heart, we used to be called the “Angel of the sick room” but why can’t we offer a healing touch anymore? Why can’t we spend 10 seconds of our time to let our patient hold our hand and tell them everything will be alright.

What happened last night is a wake up call to me as a nurse. It seems that we as nurses turned out to be cold and automated like robots, because of these too much pressure and standards that we are trying to meet in our workplace.

… and because of this I APOLOGIZE :

  • If you see us JUST SITTING DOWN in front of the computer and not running around to take care of patient – we are checking our patient’s records. We are trying to understand what’s the reason why the patient came, why this medication is ordered, what’s the doctor’s plan for him or her. We are double checking if the doctor’s order are correct and safe for the patient. We are reviewing your scans, blood work results, and making sure that your doctors are aware of it and all the appropriate treatment are ordered and done. We are making sure that you are getting the best and safest care.
  • If we CAN’T COME RIGHT AWAY to bring you blankets, water, or pain medications – we are in the middle of an emergency. We probably in the room of a patient that is having a chest pain, profusely bleeding, can’t breath, or somebody fell under our watch. Sometimes all these emergencies happen at the same time, and we are trying to keep everything under control.
  • If you are calling us and we CAN’T COME BECAUSE WE ARE ON BREAK, we are trying to finish our food as quick as possible. We know that we can ask the nurse covering us to attend your needs, but we know that they are also very busy that’s why we do cut our lunch break short so we can assist you.
  • If we DON’T SPEND TIME TALKING TO YOU, trust me we would like to sit and have a chat to all of our patients. However, we can’t do it because we are making sure that we are able to pass medications on time to all of our patients. We have things to do that are time sensitive.
  • If we are in a HURRY TO LEAVE AFTER ENDORSEMENT – as much as we wanted to help you brushing your teeth during shift change, we can’t. We have to pass it to the next shift, because we need to minimize our over time as much as possible.
  • If we DON’T LOOK OUR BEST all the time – we usually come to work well dressed and groomed, red lips and well kept hair. Then after 2 hours our face is oily, our hair is messy, our shoe laces are untied and we look awful. The truth is, we as nurses do things other than just our usual nursing tasks. We collect food trays that were not collected by the dietary personnel in the patient’s room. We pick up trash in the patient’s room. We clean urine, vomit, blood spills on the floor. We transport patient by pushing beds. We meet UBER EATS drivers on the hospital main entrance to get the food and deliver to the patient. I know it does not sound too much, but when there are major things that are going on and we still have to deal with these small little things – it is hard.
  • If we are MAKING YOU FEEL THAT WE DON’T CARE, we are sorry.  We nurses are always in a hurry, because we are dealing with too much pressure. We are trying to meet the standards set by the administration. We are trying to please our patient as much as possible. We are trying to collaborate with the doctors and other  members of the health care team – which is sometimes the hardest part. We are dealing with dying patients. We are saving lives, while neglecting our basic needs. There are times in our 12 hour shift we can’t drink water, we can’t sit, or we can’t pee.  We really do care.

We nurses are sometimes misunderstood. We also have so many shortcomings. However, we are trying to be perfect as much as we can because we know we are dealing with human lives, and there’s no room for mistakes. At the end of the day, a simple “thank you” won’t hurt, trust me it doesn’t come more often.

If you are a Nurse, please share…


22 thoughts on “Apology from a Nurse

  1. Deborah

    Sharing this with, for , and to my nurse friends. We get wrapped up in our OWN issues, while you guys and gals get wrapped up in EVERYBODY’S issues. A great big THANK YOU to you all!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. wifeblah

      Thank you so much Hannah for acknowledging our hard work as nurses. 🙂 We don’t get that much appreciation in our work area, sometimes they only recognize us when we did something wrong. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Kate

    I’m a nurse. Just like everyone else I have my good and bad days. And just like any other profession, there are some of us that are more dedicated and some that are not. When you are on both sides of the equation you tend to things differently. Like when you have a cath and the nurse removes it without fully deflating the balloon.

    Over the last few years I have been by mom’s side for visits to the emergency room and for hospitalizations. I have observed some wonderful individuals that go above and beyond. I have also observed situations that have saddened me, especially in the emergency room where nurses seem to forget that if you are pumping massive amounts of fluid into a confused person that has urinary incontinence, at some point you are going to have to make sure your patient is clean and dry. I’ve taken care of this for my mom in the past if I can find the supplies, but am often surprised how often this simple nursing task is not thought about. I wonder what happens for individuals who don’t have a friend or family member by their side. Some of this could be due to an unusually busy day, but some days not. Regardless my mom still gets charged the same amount of money by the hospital.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wifeblah

      Hi Kate I appreciate you passing by and reading my post. Yes I agree that there are some nurses that do what is right, and some that don’t care at all. While there are some nurses that fail to do their tasks very well because of so many factors like under staffing, high ratio of patients to nurses, acuity of patients that are not properly assigned. There are so many factors. Your mother is blessed to have you because you are there to take care of her and be on top of everything. Sometimes this is the sad part, when patient’s are alone, there’s no family to be their advocate. Thank you so much again for reading, really appreciate it. I hope your Mom is better now. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. ilonapulianauskaite

    I think, maybe some people prefer to stay cold, because if hey go in to it, they will get to emotional, which make effect them mentally?

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. IanC555

    I SO much appreciate this article!!! As above, Kate said, “I’m a nurse. Just like everyone else….”

    I write about some of my experiences on my own blog, and most of the other things I write about come directly from my “My human experiences” lived out…as a human being that is, also, a nurse.

    One of my most favorite considerations within nursing comes from the ANA (American Nurse’s Association” code of ethics that states “The nurse does for self what the nurse does for patients.” I paraphrased that, but in essence that is what is meant. So…As I go about my continued nursing career, I forgive myself, and I also consider that as I care for myself as a nurse cares for patients, I believe “Nurse” is, not only what I am, but it is also what “We” are as a collective. We care for ourselves and one another as we care for all the human beings under our watch.

    Peace to you all…and keep touching your patients in all the records in review, all the doctors you call, all the documentation you do, enemas given, IVs inserted…all done with care…that touches lives in meaningful ways not always seen but has an impact that is tremendous in effect…that is observable as goals become outcomes as we participate in planning in view of all the subjective/objective we humans contrive.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. wifeblah

      First of all thank you for reading this post it is kinda long 😦 Yes I totally understand your point, and I agree with that. It’s like saying you can’t give what you dont have. So we better take good care of ourselves too, so we can take good care of our patients. I totally agree 🙂 🙂 the only thing is, some patients forget that we are also humans that needs break and consideration like them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. IanC555

        Oh yeah!!! I get that!!! I don’t know if you will agree with me on this because what had always helped me before many nursing models and standards had been bent and skewed in demands…not necessarily generated from nursing perspective is…”We” nurses take less care of “Our”selves when we very much used to do that…before about 6 years ago. I don’t know what happened, but I see less unification in diver’s places in nursing fields.

        One time, I worked in an incredibly hostile environment…as in a correctional (prison) work environment. Because the focus of care was hostile (In-mates/criminals) this lead many types of professionals groups within the environment ointo hostile coping (nurses being one of these groups). I am an LVN, but I was in a very unique situation as a subordinate to a Master’s degree RN that didn’t exist because no one would take the position (that’s another story…like I said…HOSTILE environment). So…I was seeing all this dysfunction, and in nursing school, “Correctional nursing” wasn’t covered or even eluded to, so I wondered, “Is there a researched standard specific to the correctional nursing and this environment?” I asked all around my institution. NO NURSE had ever heard of such a thing, but…prevailing attitudes were very misleading away from…what I had learned in school. So I took it upon myself to contact the BRN (board of registered nursing)…because RN lead the LVN). This is what they told me…an LVN

        “All nurses are given leadership training, and they are expected to be leaders where ever they are found working. Your title has an “N” in it. You may take it upon yourself to initiate any research to regarding your institution’s need in unifying within standards of ‘Care’…”

        This totally blew me away!

        “Care” is our primary purpose, and so…I always found that we did our best nursing as we took care of ourselves…and the bolster our ability to…Hmmmm…hold neutral space of what consumers expect or demand.

        It’s still very tiring work, NO DOUBT! GRUELING at times, but our team…the care we give to each other leads us beyond what demands force upon us (which is an entirely different subject to which I just eluded) THAT degrees of care can mean the difference between gratification or…burn out! Burn out SUCKS!!!!!!!

        I care about you nurses…SO MUCH! Thanks for all you do…THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO!!!

        PEACE!!! (And I mean that…peace to you)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. wifeblah

        I’m really sorry for the late response. 😦 the comment went to the spam folder, which is really weird. I’m soo excited when I saw your comment on my notification, but next thing I know it was missing. Now I found it. 🙂 Makes me happy.

        Nurses can work in gazillion of fields, and one of them is Correctional Nursing. I was surprise there’s no research being conducted or conducted regarding Correctional Nursing (standards/safety issues). Maybe because we just rely on the institutions policy and procedures? Or maybe because this is a small field in Nursing so they don’t want to focus on it. Which is sad. 😦 Being a correctional nurse, looks like you are high risk for any safety issue, just like working in a psychiatric institution. I don’t think this field of nursing should be given less emphasis because nurses here are placed in a hostile environment.

        And yes, no any healthcare personnel is an island. We live and function by teamwork. I can’t agree more – this is a Grueling career. But I always think at the end of the day – no job is easy. I don’t know if nursing is harder than any other job, so I just don’t want to complain about it. 🙂 🙂 But it is really hard and THANK YOU SO MUCH from the bottom of my hear for the appreciation to our colleagues. Peace to you too! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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