Heart for My Fellow Pediatric Nurses: SPN 2022 Annual Conference Keynote

Tomorrow morning I get to present a keynote at the National Society of Pediatric Nurses 2022 Annual Conference.

Mixed motives are always a part of the bag. But my honest prayer is that I would decrease, and that You, the Lover and Redeemer and Rescuer of our Souls, oh God, would increase. Help us to know that You care for the caregivers, that You love your children, ages 5 and 50 and beyond.

This is for all the nurses who have stood at the bedside of a young child stricken by a cruel, incurable disease… knowing that there is no cure, no way to truthfully say “We still have hope that this child will live happily into adulthood.”

This is for all the nurses who have quietly wept as they bandaged the horrifying wounds of children beaten mercilessly by those who were supposed to be their safe guardians.

This is for all the nurses who went into pediatrics because we had such a soft spot for kids, and then found ourselves picking up the parents from the floor after they collapsed in wailing and despair after receiving the news they dreaded most about the child they lost track of for just five minutes, and then found at the bottom of a pool.

This is for all the nurses who feel the expectation to be superheroes, but who want to resign the cape and the mask, and just be seen, heard, and held in quiet understanding of all the trauma they have borne.

This is for all of us who need to know that our grief over our patients is valid, normal, complicated, and…. holy, even. Set apart for the most beautiful kind of work. There is space for our grief, and I will hold open this space to all my colleagues at SPN and call it beautiful.

“You number my wanderings;

Put my tears into Your bottle;

Are they not in Your book?

~ Psalm 56:8

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