In celebration of National Nurses Week from May 6th – 12th, nursing staff across Elliot Health System shared their reasons for becoming a nurse, and they also shared some moments that shaped their experience as a nurse.
Many nurses from across EHS shared their stories. Below is a snapshot of some of these messages to provide inspiration!
Stories about “Why I Became a Nurse”
Chelsea, Clinical Nurse Manager
“When I was 10 years old, my younger brother was 7. We were playing whiffle ball at my grandmother’s house, and he slipped rounding second base, slashing the back of his head on a rock.
“Now, looking back on it as an adult, I am fully aware that my ten-year-old brain has likely embellished and exaggerated the memory, but at the time I SWEAR his head was squirting blood. I vividly recall hopping into the far back row of my Mom’s too-cool-for-school 1990s Chrysler minivan and holding a dishrag to the back of his scalp as he sat in the bench seat in front of me.
“We made our way to the Concord Hospital ER, and he had 12 staples placed.
“At first, I felt terrible at how AWESOME I thought the whole thing was, but once I knew he had no serious injury that faded. I’m not sure what bothered him more over the next few days, the fact that it was summertime, and he couldn’t go swimming or the fact that I was inspecting and looking at his gnarly wound every chance I could get. And the rest, as they say, is history.”
Christine, Londonderry Urgent Care, RN (photo shared above)
“I practically grew up in various hospitals because my father was hit by a semi-truck before I was born. He’d spend one week hospitalized, out for a few days and back in again. The nurses were always so kind and I credit them for helping them stay alive for as long as he did. The first Christmas after his accident the nurses all got together and pitched in to buy groceries and gifts for our family of four kids. I always wanted to be a part of that comradery of nurses because of that and began as a candy striper in 1984 at the very hospital where my dad spent most of his life.”
Kirstin, Maternity Nurse
“I had a dear friend who was diagnosed with leukemia when we were in high school. He used to talk about the nurses he had at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center and how wonderful they were. They would always make his chemo and his hospitalizations a little more enjoyable. When we devastatingly lost him to his leukemia when he was only 16, I set it as my goal to be that nurse for someone. Even though I am not doing pediatric oncology, which I had always thought I would, I still find ways to honor Danny in my nursing practice. I strive every shift to be ‘that nurse’ for my patients, the one who is worth telling your friends about. I carry him with me every day, and keep his bracelet on my stethoscope as a reminder for when the shift is challenging or the day seems like it is never going to end.”
“I was always caring for someone growing up and it was either animals or people, I thought I wanted to be a vet but ultimately decided to shift gears toward humans : )! I kept changing my mind about what I wanted to do in the medical field, and finally a voice of reason said, ‘Why don’t you become a nurse, because you can try all different types of nursing.’ Great idea! I am also the third RN in my family, so I liked the fact that I was carrying on a legacy. Twenty-two years later – I still love what I do! I have also worked in five specialties – so yes, I can try different types of nursing!”
Melissa, RN Labor & Delivery
“I became a nurse because I was always fascinated with the human body and how it worked. It was the subject in school that kept my attention and always looking for more. I especially was intrigued by how humans were created. I knew that if I was going to be a nurse, I would want a focus on newborns and childbirth. In high school I made a choice between health occupations or early childhood education. I am so happy I made the right choice that day and set up my career in health care. I would not change a thing.”
Some “Meaningful Moments” Shared by Our Nurses
“Coming into my third shift of three in a row I was exhausted. I walked into my patient’s room whom I had as a patient the two days prior, and she said, ‘Thank God it’s you again, I know I’m in good hands today.’ This gave me a second wind and made me feel like what we do matters. It helped me push through a hard day. Made me feel like I’m making a difference and truly helping my patients to get better.”
“I was able to sit with one of my patients today and got to know about their family, favorite activities, etc. It felt great to be able to know my patient outside of what brought them to the hospital and be able to connect with them on a more personal level.”
“I got to spend time helping a patient eat breakfast. I made him laugh and smile. It made me happy. Connecting with people is what nursing is all about!”
“A patient who was on the unit for some time, engaged in assessment, and showed insight into their illness. It felt like a small victory! Also a good reminder to celebrate small victories and baby steps. : )”
“A father was trying to swaddle his baby’s hands in the Halo sack, and she just kept moving them out. He was so patient and gentle, and trying so hard to help so I could do the hearing screen. It was very touching, and it warmed my heart.”
“A patient who has been seeing us for many years came into the office with a new, life altering diagnosis. She was very emotional and confided in me. I’ve known her for many years and when she started to cry, I was able to console her and help her during that moment.”
“When I got a big smile and a high five from my 6-year-old autistic patient with sensory issues. I thought it was going to be tough. But after a few laughs, the patient was relaxed and had a good experience at lab instead of a traumatic one.”
“Discharged a patient to home and her husband in time for them to spend their 60th wedding anniversary together.”
“A few weeks back we had a hypoglycemic patient and I gave her cheese and crackers to eat. I also provided her education on making sure she has her testing kit with her at all times as she was newly diabetic. The patient came in for her follow up appointment and remembered me! She brought me cheese and crackers to thank me!”
Thank you to our Elliot Health System nurses for the many ways you support and care for our patients!