“I suspect it is hard to love a nurse. We get up early and don’t have time to drink coffee over the newspaper. We come home late and are too tired to cook. We work extra because we know there are sick people who need us. We miss weekend events, holidays, birthdays. We don’t get too excited over your minor “boo-boo”. We have seen far worse.
We don’t want to talk when we come home. We have talked all day. We don’t want to move when we come home. We have moved all day.
It may seem that we have left all our caring, our heart, and our love at work, then have come home to you empty. We probably have. But we don’t tell you that many times at work that we are mired by anxiety, we are scared. Scared we are missing something. Scared we will let our patient down or worse. Scared that we’ll have to deal with angry or violent patients and families. We don’t tell you how the staffing crisis makes us cry on the way to work, to do a job we love, but now we are terrified to do because it is breaking us down while putting the most vulnerable at risk.
I suspect it is hard to love a nurse, but know this: Your nurse needs your love. Needs your understanding. Needs to know that you “get it”. Needs to be the one taken care of every once and a while. Needs someone else to take charge of the details because doing it themselves constantly is exhausting. Needs their feet rubbed. (Hint hint) Needs a shoulder to cry on when they can’t even tell you why they’re grieving. Needs you to do the hardest work you may ever do, which is to love a nurse.
I would like to thank those of you out there who love us and let us do this work, this calling, this life: Nursing.”