Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 24-48 hours you’ve probably heard all about The View’s Joy Behar’s remarks regarding Miss Colorado’s talent portion of the Miss America pageant. Now, to be honest, I do not watch either show but when someone attacks my profession the way Mrs. Behar did, I will not stand for it. Miss Colorado DID NOT come out wearing a “nurse costume”. She came out wearing her uniform; the scrubs that she wears every time she steps onto her unit. She did not add a “doctor’s stethoscope” to her outfit to make it fancy. She wore HER stethoscope. The one she puts on around her neck every shift. The one she wears while assessing HER patients. She wasn’t “playing doctor”. She was showing the world who she is. She did not “just read her emails” either. She told a story about a patient whose life changed hers. Every nurse has a patient like the one she discussed. The one we smile and laugh with. The one who compliments us. The one who makes our day. The one who we cry with and for. The one we couldn’t save no matter how hard we tried. Every nurse has their one. Miss Colorado told a story about hers. It was so much more than the ladies at The View seem to think it was. So to The View here is my take on what a nurse is…
A nurse is a good morning smile.
A nurse is a friendly hello to patients who aren’t even theirs.
A nurse is a comforting face you or your loved one sees every day.
A nurse is a hand to hold when things are bad.
A nurse is a reassuring smile.
A nurse is a sympathetic hug.
A nurse is the first one you or your loved one will see when in the hospital.
A nurse is someone to laugh and joke with when your days seem hopeless.
A nurse is that person who checks on you in the middle of the night.
A nurse is someone who works nights, weekends, and holidays even though they would rather be at home with their loved ones.
A nurse is a patient and family advocate.
A nurse is the phone call complaining to the dietary department because they got yours or your loved ones lunch wrong. Again.
A nurse is the person in the kitchenette getting their patient a snack because they can’t get one on their own.
A nurse is the one you trust to take care of your premature baby when you are discharged home.
A nurse is the one who updates you on the phone every time you call the unit about your family member.
A nurse is part of the thank you card you write when you’re finally discharged.
A nurse is the one who provides you with a thoughtful gesture like books to read when you call and say you’re bored.
A nurse is the friendly conversation you have because you’re lonely and miss your family.
A nurse is the voice on the end of the call bell system telling you someone is on their way down to your room.
A nurse is the upbeat and bubbly personality you need when you’re stuck in a hospital bed.
A nurse is the one performing CPR on you or your loved one’s chest.
A nurse is the one assessing vital signs and alerting the doctor when there is a sudden change.
A nurse is the person who you cry to when your family member is gone.
A nurse is someone to seek comfort from.
A nurse is so much more than even what I have listed above. Whether you are a NP, RN, RPN, PSW, HCA, or SA. You make a difference every day in someone else’s life. You celebrate your patients victories and cry for their losses. You give up time with your own family to be there for someone else. You provide not only comfort but also a kick in the ass to those stubborn patients we all get. It takes a very specific type of personality to become a nurse. Obviously, none of the women on The View fit what it means to be “just a nurse”. Shame on them for trying to bring down what, in my opinion, was a beautiful tribute to a beautiful patient.