At the bedside, lives are changed. Not just the lives of patients and their families, but the lives of us caregivers, too.
As a pediatric nurse, my heart breaks for parents who are going through gut-wrenching, unimaginably difficult journeys with their children. Watching every breath, worried about what’s coming next, hoping for a cure, begging for a miracle.
As a nurse, you learn to walk into a room with wisdom, confidence, a heart that loves unconditionally and an eagerness to learn. Because at the end of every medical decision is a nurse at the bedside.
With every medication and difficult conversation, we also calm fears, dry tears, hold hands, hug mommies, shake the hands of brave daddies and say hi to SpongeBob and Dora. We’re proud to have stuffed hippos, pigs and dinosaurs named after us. By the end of some days, our scrubs look like we’ve been playing in dirt or running a marathon. And we couldn’t care less.
Beyond question or doubt, at the bedside is where my heart becomes full. It’s where I set up the bag mask, suction and epinephrine that fully prepared us for an emergency. It’s where I gave a bolus that brought a patient’s blood pressure back to life-sustaining levels at 2 a.m. It’s where I used an M&M to teach a 4-year-old how to swallow the pill her tiny body so desperately needed. It’s where I used a Lil Wayne app on my phone to show a 16-year-old boy that he still "looked good" bald. It’s where I held a mom’s hand as another nurse put down a feeding tube that would help her sweet child stay nourished.