How to Support the Nurse in Your Life: Guest Post for American Journal of Nursing

I've been thinking a lot about why it can be so challenging for very well-intentioned friends and families of nurses to support us when our work takes its toll. My guest post for the American Journal of Nursing blog, Off the Charts, provides some suggestions for support that nurses may not always know how to directly … Continue reading How to Support the Nurse in Your Life: Guest Post for American Journal of Nursing

How to Prevent a Code as a Nurse (and it’s not the way you think)

Hers was a story that would make you shake your head in disbelief just to hear the background, never mind what all actually went down on my shift with her. An unstable family, a turbulent social life, clear signs of personal distress. As the nurse, I listened to the story, and like a good nurse, … Continue reading How to Prevent a Code as a Nurse (and it’s not the way you think)

Papi, Read the Story: The Nurse’s Privilege to Witness Beauty

The curious and perhaps inevitable effect of a major health crisis on any family is its power to elicit affection, emotion, and perhaps long-resisted efforts at connection from those most directly involved. Reserved personalities crack open, reach out. Estranged relationships build bridges, sometimes temporarily for survival, sometimes repentantly for healing. Close relationships sometimes buckle, sometimes grow … Continue reading Papi, Read the Story: The Nurse’s Privilege to Witness Beauty

The Messy Untangling: On Sorting Through the Hard Feelings after a Rough Shift

Today, I’m feeling it. The untangling after a particularly intense shift on all levels. I walked into a shift with a family whose child had taken a big turn for the worse and they had no guarantees that moving forward with certain procedures and therapies would turn things around for the better. We could only … Continue reading The Messy Untangling: On Sorting Through the Hard Feelings after a Rough Shift

How is Work: The Question I Struggle to Answer as a Nurse

It must seem odd, why I hesitate. It’s a pretty standard question in standard conversation. “How is work?” But I hesitate every time, and I think at times I stare at the person questioning me. I’m trying to gauge how much they want to know. Do you want an easy answer? “Work is busy. Our … Continue reading How is Work: The Question I Struggle to Answer as a Nurse

Staying in the Hard Thing: When Glory becomes Gritty

I seem to live in a perpetually tired state nowadays. If I’m looking for the easiest, most honest response to “How are you?” my default answer will be, “I’m tired.” Tired as a mom of two littles. Tired as a nurse to critically ill children. Friends and coworkers nod in empathy, and praise Jesus for … Continue reading Staying in the Hard Thing: When Glory becomes Gritty

The Small Unforgettable Lesson: On Feeling the Gap Between the Nurse and the Patient’s Family

Disoriented, exhausted, and almost slightly embarrassed, she emerged from her dark room and blinked. I was the nurse for a different patient a couple doors down and had occasionally glanced at the photos she had taped on the front of her son’s door throughout the day – photos of her infant son in his healthier … Continue reading The Small Unforgettable Lesson: On Feeling the Gap Between the Nurse and the Patient’s Family