As you walk into the hospital emergency room, you will be greeted by a nurse. A nurse with a warm smile and their stethoscope! It is that stethoscope that will be used along with the nurse’s many years of education, problem solving abilities, and clinical skills, to determine what immediate intervention needs to be done and how quickly you need to be evaluated by a physician. The stethoscope, and the caring nurse it belongs to, will soon become like an old friend during your journey in the ER. They will visit you more frequently than is probably required to make sure you are feeling better, have everything you need, and most importantly, to evaluate your condition. Nurses are an invaluable part of the ER team, not because they help to carry out the treatment plan, but rather because of the intimate relationship they develop with each and every patient. It is usually a nurse who will alert the team that they are nervous about a particular patient, or that a particular treatment plan isn’t working. They are our eyes. They are our ears. They are the first line of communication to the rest of ER team. As your ER journey ends, the stethoscope and the warm-hearted nurse that wears it, will spend whatever amount of time it takes to ensure that you understand the diagnosis and to educate you on what needs to be done to ensure you stay healthy once you leave the ER. If you are too sick to leave the hospital, you will be given a new team of stethoscopes, with nurses attached to them, who will provide you with the best care until you are strong enough to leave.
When we are faced with the decision of what career we want to pursue, we look towards our strengths, interests, emotions and talents to help guide us down the right path. All successful nurses are blessed with something that can’t be taught in a classroom or learned by studying a book…compassion! Of course nurses have to be hard working, dedicated, and critical thinkers, but compassion is a unique trait that separates the nurse from their stethoscope. Working in the healthcare filed is extremely rewarding but it can also be brutal. It takes a certain person to truly care about each and every patient while enduring long hours, very few breaks, and emotional and physical stress. Nurses do it day after day and make it look easy. A nurse’s compassion should not only be celebrated in beauty competitions, but around the world. I consider the nurses I work with my friends, my family, but most importantly, heroes. I find great comfort in knowing no matter what hours we work, how busy we are, or what obstacles we face, the members of my team will always show up for their next shift ready to work with a compassionate smile on their face, and a stethoscope around their neck!