Graduating with a nursing degree in hand, I was ready to bring my new knowledge and skills to the bedside. Thirty years later, I am amazed at how much I still have to learn and apply to my practice. In our right to keep seniors free of pressure ulcers, for example, we have missed an important tool for helping the skin be stronger and more resilient
I can remember a conversation that I overheard between my mother and aunt when my grandmother was in her last few years of life. In essence, they were talking about open areas that my grandmother had on her backside. I knew that what was happening to my grandmother was not a good thing for her. It certainly wasn’t something I wanted for my mother.
A while back I was asked to speak to a group of graduating nurses — new to practice and excited to start their careers. As I spoke, I gave insights from Florence Nightingale and the changing face of healthcare. I was feeling confident that I had inspired them to spread their wings, expand their practice; the world was their oyster, as the saying goes.
Writers rely on pen and paper. Carpenters count on a hammer. Ask a healthcare worker what their most valuable tool of the trade is and they’ll tell you – it’s all about their hands. When you look at today’s rapidly changing workforce and day-to-day demands, hands shouldn’t be taken for granted.
It all started with a gathering. My family had lost a loved one. Some of us flew, others drove but whatever it took, we came together to celebrate the life of our loved one. Within 48 hours after the service, the texts started flying. Seven of us were ill, feeling like we were going to die. Two of us ended up at the hospital. The two who were seen at the hospital were positive for norovirus. The rest of us knew that we were right there with the others. Norovirus had claimed victory over our bodies.
He stumbled into the room, sweating and vomiting, and then he slipped to the floor. I was 8 years old and he was my brother.
When I was a student nurse, I had a professor who said, “You will never know what gem is before you, unless you are willing to open your eyes and your heart.” Being young and excited about being a nurse, I smiled but really didn’t think much of what she said, at least until I met Dorothy.