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Nursing is a Gift

Vol. 8 •Issue 26 • Page 11
Trends & Issues

Nursing is a Gift

Appreciation expressed by patients past helped one nurse deal with grief in the present and find hope for the future

Just like my career as a nurse, sometimes I really enjoy the holiday season, and at other times it makes me feel overwhelmed at not being able to get everything done.

Last year was very different. Dec. 10, 2005, a family friend committed suicide. It was very difficult for me to support others who knew him the way I would normally offer to do as a nurse and therapist as I felt this loss very deeply. I needed to grieve the loss of my dear friend.

A Note of Thanks

And then something unexpected and wonderful happened: I started hearing from former patients. It was as if there was a billboard somewhere that read: "Thank a Nurse this Holiday Season."

Once, a couple stopped by with a box of candy and card that read: "Thank you for saving our marriage."

Another patient, who had lost his job and then recognized he always wanted to be a school teacher, followed that dream and sent a copy of his appointment letter for a full-time teaching position with a note that said, "Thanks."

There were several others who sent cards or left messages with the same sentiment or just to tell me they were doing well.

My favorite message was a card with Santa depicted on a therapy couch and stating: "I love the North Pole and the South Pole" with an insert that read, "Santa discovers he is bipolar." I called the patient (who is bipolar) to thank him for making my day and providing a much needed laugh. He said it made him happy to do something for me.

Making a Difference

I was very grateful to hear from those clients at that time in my life. It made me realize what a gift nursing has been to me as my chosen profession. I hope you will take a moment this holiday season to appreciate nursing and all that it has been in your life, too.

And if nursing has fallen short of your career expectations, please consider how you might change that in the New Year.

Nursing is a gift that, the more we give to others, the more it comes back to us in unexpected ways.

Happy holidays.

Sally Ann Corbo is president of Epicare Associates Inc., West Caldwell, NJ. She also works in private practice as a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist.


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