My husband’s surgery was over. Groggy from a recent dose of pain medication, he was discharged from the recovery unit. We were on our way to an unknown place in the main hospital building and found ourselves waiting in a hallway until his room was ready. Where were we going? Would the care be competent? He had practically gotten one-on-one care in the post operative unit. I wasn’t sure about being sent to a floor with so many other patients. After all, I had nursed multiple patients and never felt like I could be enough – care enough – do enough – to meet all their needs.
I saw her from a distance. A warm and strong spirit, I didn’t expect her to do more than a hello. It takes a lot to overcome the force of my own energy, but here she came. It was shift change, and there were nurses and charts and conversations everywhere. This nurse had the biggest smile I had seen since admission. She came right into my space and looked me directly in my eyes. “Welcome,” she said. She told me her name and said, “Excuse our change of shift.” and “We’ll get your husband in a room as soon as possible.” “Are you his nurse?” I asked (convinced that she was). “No,” she said. “But, my good friend is and she’s top notch.”
There was a scurry to get us out of the line of fire in the hallway and another nurse wanted to be sure I had a chair. “Are you his nurse?” I asked. “No, I just want to be sure you are comfortable and had what you needed.”
Another nurse stopped by. “We’re sorry you’re in the hall, and we are working hard to get his room ready.” “Are you his nurse?” “No, I just want you to know you are not forgotten.”
This was a unit. This was a force to be reckoned with. These nurses moved as if they were one body – one mind – with one purpose.
I watched them work. This was a team. They were like a full and moving force of energy.
They were all so incredibly young (or am I getting that old?) How could they possibly look after my husband – fresh from a cardiac ablation? But, it didn’t take me long to see that they were confident and competent. They were fit, energetic and focused on one thing – excellence in patient care. They knew who they were and what they had to do. They were the cardiology nurses of “Main 10 East” ‘and they were proud of it.
They were proud of their work, their hospital and the care that they gave. There was no insecurity –no hidden agendas – no negative energy.
It was as if when one of them turned – they all turned. Everyone looked up. Everyone smiled. Everyone cared. And, they would settle for nothing less on their watch during this night.
Never have I been so assured of the care these patients and my husband would receive. I was confident to leave and get some sleep myself. I knew that I had left him with sharp minds, able bodies and caring souls.
My confidence has been renewed in healthcare. With all the extra tasks nurses are burdened with, this group has mastered that and so much more. They exemplify the art of healing.
They make me so proud. I am a former practicing nurse, and these nurses made me want to return to the bedside – but only if I could be on their team.
God bless the nurses on the cardiology unit at VCU in Richmond, Virginia and all the nurses throughout this land. Be with them in the halls and in the patient rooms. Guide their hands and feet. Give them the strength to endure the hardships that are coming on them. Give them hope as they instill hope in so many others. And, may they never have to work alone but always together as one body to fulfill God’s great purpose in their lives.
“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts, and though all its parts are many, they form one body.” 1 Corinthians 12: 12