Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Behind the Scenes: Let's Hear It for the Nursing Staff!

One of the things I've been doing for years is volunteer for a three hour shift once a week at a local children's hospital.  I rock babies, play with toddlers, sometimes do a puzzle with someone older and occasionally listen to parents.  And I watch.

Watch the nurses quietly keep things going, watch the auxillary nurses provide backup, watch the house staff take everything in and frequently give the right encouragement to a young family faced with the worst situation they've encountered up to that point.

In other words, the doctors are great, but it's the people behind them who really make the difference in whether a kid gets well or not.

That's why I was delighted to read Jane Gross's review of a book of essays on nursing in The New York Times this morning.  Called I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse, it sounds like something everyone should read because we all have (or will) come face to face with ill health and the wonderful people who try to help us.

Just a note: one of the interesting things I've also noticed in my 11 years on 6-3 is that most  young doctors are afemale and the nursing and auxilliary staff is becoming increasing male.  Good!

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