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The Rewards of Nursing

The Rewards of Nursing

My story is about the rewards of being a nurse.

I have been in practice now for about 9 years, and in that time I have worked in hospitals, hospice and case management for an insurance carrier. Currently, I am the director of nursing for a provider of services to those who are developmentally disabled.

Anyway, when you take care of people in a hospital, you see them what, 2 days a week usually?

Still, my goal was always to make my patients feel better when I left the hospital for the day then they did at the beginning of my shift.

I always performed my duties precisely as I had learned in school and what I observed on the job.

As a result, patients leaving the hospital often times would tell me that I had done a good job caring for them and that I'd made them feel better. And that was great!

But for me, the real rewards came when I'd see them after their discharge and they'd thank me for what I did, and how much they felt I truly cared for them. And sometimes I'd meet their family and friends as well, and they'd tell me what a great nurse I was to their friend.

This is what happened to me just the other day.

While loading groceries into my car, a woman came up to me and asked if I was a nurse, and I replied I was.

She told me she though she'd recognized me, and that I had taken care of her husband when he was in the hospital - and I was wonderful!

I had worked at this facility maybe 4 years ago, but she said I had such compassion, such caring, that she would always remember me.

For me, hearing kind words from a grateful patient or their family and friends, are the types of experiences being a nurse is all about.

It isn't about the money. It's about making a difference in someone's life!

-    By Randi A. Schwartz, RN, Marlton, NJ.

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