Hi Fellow Nurses!
I hope that you are having a great day!
I wanted to relay a story that happened to me last Sunday. I am calling it "The Community Nurse Hat."
I live in the same town where I grew up. I attended church, served on many committees, and worked as the local school nurse for many years in the same area. Thus, I know a LOT of people, and they all know that I am a nurse.
I am active in the community and attend children's sporting events, concerts, and church regularly. I drink coffee at the local coffee houses and eat at the area restaurants. You can find me sipping a glass of wine outside of one of the local wineries or shopping at the stores in the vicinity.
This may sound idyllic, and it really is. The one exception is that I am always on-call as the community's nurse.
Truly, I am happy to serve others and help out when there is an emergency. I am flattered that people seek me out if there is an injury on the soccer field or if someone has an episode in the store. My family feels free always to push me to the front of the crowd to help out when there is a medical incident. I am glad that they trust my nursing skills. I am proud to be my community's nurse.
Last weekend was no exception. I had helped host a family birthday the day before. As I was hurrying to set up for the party, I had overturned my ankle and fell to the ground while walking to a neighboring house to pick up some additional decorations for the table.
The event turned out great, and we all had a blast, but the next day, Sunday, I was fatigued and sore. I would have skipped church and taken it easy that morning, but my grandchildren were in a program at church to showcase what they had learned at vacation bible school that week.
So I got dressed and limped into the church. I felt like the tinman walking and bending to sit but I made it gingerly to a pew near the front to be seated with my family.
I was one of the vacation bible school volunteers and was supposed to get up on stage with the children that Sunday. As I was not feeling up to par that morning, I opted to stay in my seat I just wanted to quietly sit back and enjoy my grandchildren and blend in with the crowd. I was hoping that no one would notice me and make me go up on stage with the other volunteers. Several of my fellow volunteers did brave the stage with the children while they sang and pantomimed to 5 different jazzy songs.
We had 3 of our little ones in the program, and I was especially enjoying the smallest child on stage. The star was a darling little, very perky blond girl who was front and center, loving every minute of it, who happened to be our only granddaughter. As her mother and I were waving and struggling to get her attention to get her to stop lifting her dress up to her waist as she animatedly sang and danced, one of the ladies on stage who was a volunteer, wilted to the ground in a faint.
As the woman crumpled to the floor beneath the cross, I felt hands and voices urging me to "go help her" as I rushed (the best that I could) up on stage. I assessed the poor woman, took charge of the scene, revived her, and assisted her to a nearby couch where the EMTs took over.
Luckily, her condition did not appear to be too serious and she did not want to make a big deal out of the situation. As expected, her family was shaken by the incident, as well as my one grandson, who had been up on stage when the woman fainted. I was glad that I was there to help her.
Later, as I was leaving the church, a woman rushed up to me, saying, " I need a professional medical opinion of my own." I had thought she was wondering how the ill woman made out but instead, I listened with empathy as she described her own ailments.
This type of event happens to me numerous times a year, while at home or on vacation. It makes me wonder, as a nurse, are we ever off duty? I have written about being "the family nurse," but being "the community's nurse" can be just as all-encompassing. We, nurses, are full of compassion and do not have "off hours" when it comes to helping others in need. Nurses are a blessing to those that they serve, no matter when or where they may be.
Do you feel like you are the community nurse at times?
Have a wonderful day!
P.S. I kind of like the nurse ball cap that I found researching this article. I might buy it. If interested here are the details.