Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Appreciating Nurses (Hooray for My Sister)

Yesterday I traveled to Des Moines to celebrate an award for my sister, Marcia, who is one of the “100 Great Nurses of Iowa”. This is the second annual awards ceremony of this kind, and it was a great privilege to attend.

Nurses from across the state nominate their colleagues to receive this award. I happened to be able to meet five of my sister’s colleagues from Spencer Memorial Hospital in Spencer, Iowa. They are all great people and great nurses in their own right, and meeting them added to the significance of this award. They said some very nice things about my sister, which confirms why I am so proud of her commitment, sense of caring, and competence. (We mustn’t ever forget the last one – I don’t care how much people care if they are doing the wrong things.)

Nurses are the primary caregivers in our medical system; it cannot function without them. And if you have ever been a patient, you know that while the doctors deliver expert technical services, it is the nurse who is there for you and ensures that your needs are met. I have always felt that nurses have a special calling from God, as it takes a rare person to deal capably and compassionately with those who are weak and sick.

Ceremonies like these are important, as they allow us to express our collective appreciation not only for the profession, but for the individuals who are important in our lives. We all spend so much time working, and it is important to feel appreciated in what we do. Appreciation from the right people can enable us to keep going when we might otherwise quit; the absence of appreciation is a huge source of discouragement.

So, show some appreciation today! And if you can, especially show some kindness to a nurse. They are the unsung heroes of the medical community, and I’m very proud of my sister’s contributions in that area.


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