Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC

Every year, around Thanksgiving Day, I start off my holiday movies with “It’s a Wonderful Life.” In it, our main character George Bailey, due to a series of events, wishes he’d never been born. His guardian angel, Clarence, grants his wish and George sees his life unfold as if he’d never been born.

What George discovers is that even though his life was difficult and full of sacrifices, life is bleak for so many people if he had not been there. He didn’t realize how many lives he had touched and made better for his interactions with them throughout his life. At the end of the movie, he begs to have his life back despite having to face some difficult conflicts. 

I know that a lot of people right now are pondering their career choice due to the pandemic and vaccine mandates. But please, don’t leave us. Think of all the lives you touch each day in so many ways. Look back among the years of the lives you have changed. That hand you held when someone was scared; the hair you fixed just right before a family visit; that one resident no one could get to take their meds except for you. 

Perhaps it was the resident you hugged decked out in PPE to let them know they could still be hugged and touched despite a pandemic. Maybe it was an act of kindness, staying a bit late to give a person some extra attention and care and then they passed on that night. It was you who gave them that last act of kindness. 

So, when you are debating and making some difficult decisions, please just remember the service you provide and also realize: it really is a wonderful life!

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

The opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News guest submissions are the author’s and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News or its editors.