I'm so, so fortunate to be able to call myself a nurse. I mean really! Are there better people in the world than those who have knowingly pursued a profession that requires you to be selfless by its very definition? Then, after we study hard, endure sleepless nights, and give ourselves to our profession (mind, body, and soul), we are allowed to call ourselves a nurse. Believe me, it is a privilege that has to be earned and not gifted.
A few weeks ago, I witnessed a situation that solidified my commitment to this profession. Let me preface this story by telling you I work in the middle of the Texas Medical Center, a tight-knit community of medical professionals.
Anyway, I was leaving my office and heading to a meeting that was 5-6 miles away. I hadn't gone one block when I saw a sedan stopped in the middle of the road and faced in the wrong direction and another awkwardly pulled up and parked on side street. The fact that a wreck had just happened was obvious. In fact, it was so fresh there was not a police officer or ambulance in site. What was there was a team of pedestrians gathered around and making the necessary calls.
When I got close enough to make out people, I saw a friend of mine (my beta-reader) was one of the people gathered near the car. As soon as he saw my car, he flagged me down. I quickly pulled up right in front of the car most damaged. My friend rushed over and said, "There's a man who may be dying."
Those words are the ones that jump-start nurses, doctors, and EMT's. We train our entire lives to intervene in these types of situations. Without another word, I fly out of my car. Work heels, shift dress, jacket and all. Sight unseen, I was completely prepared to do whatever necessary should the victim of this accident be lifeless or breathless.
Here's the kicker. My friend had no idea, but there were already two nurses at the scene. They'd both ran from their office which was across from the accident. One was on the phone with EMS and shouting, "He's breathing. Leave him in the car."As you know, nurses can be quite persistent when they want or need something.
Since I was not the first on the scene and the patient was breathing, I didn't feel the need to do much other than stay put in the event the patient deteriorated before EMS arrived.
Seconds later, two nurses come running down the road yelling, "We have an AED." An AED is an automated external defibrillator, and of course, we assured them it was not necessary at that moment. Before we finished talking to the two newest nurses, a car stopped behind the accident and another woman ran up to the scene saying, "I'm a nurse." We reiterated the fact that he was breathing and had just regained consciousness.
A minute or two later, EMS and a fire truck arrived, and those professional took control of the scene, freeing the Good Samaritan nurses to go about their way with the confidence that the patient would receive the care necessary.
While I am a nurse and this story is a tribute to the profession I've embraced, I don't want to pretend there weren't other people from all walks of life standing around and making themselves available should this man need anything. For example, a truck driver stopped the instant the wreck happened, grabbed a fire extinguisher from his truck, ran over to the car with the unconscious man, and busted out the window so others could get inside the locked car and check on the man.
When you gauge our world and its people based on all of the horrible things we hear on the news, you begin to wonder if all is lost. Then, these types of situations occur, ones where a team of strangers come together to for the sole purpose of giving aid to a person who needed help. Standing by and witnessing the selflessness I saw that day, rekindled my faith in the world we live in while solidifying my pride in the people who've given their lives to the profession of nursing.
If you know a nurse, remember to thank them for all they do every single day. Their jobs are not glamorous. They are necessary, and it takes a special person to take on the challenge.
If you are a nurse, Happy Nurses Week!