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

When Wine and Pedicures Aren’t Enough: Deeper Level Coping as a Christian Nurse

Recently, I have been meeting some soon-to-be-brand-new nurses who have wanted to hear from me about how I cope with the hardest things I see as a nurse. It is a deep and necessary question every nurse has to work through if you want to truly open your heart to the reality of others’ suffering … Continue reading When Wine and Pedicures Aren’t Enough: Deeper Level Coping as a Christian Nurse

The Trust: What the General Public Bestows to a Healthcare Provider

When we were given our licenses to practice medicine, nursing, respiratory care, pharmacy, social work, physical and occupational therapy, we were given not only a license to write orders, administer medications, or give breathing treatments. We were given a trust that goes far beyond a technical practice. Of course, honing our practices is vital, and … Continue reading The Trust: What the General Public Bestows to a Healthcare Provider

Tough Love Can Be Tough: On Setting Boundaries with ‘Needy’ Patients

I’m used to patients being terrified of getting worse. But it took me awhile to realize that the main issue I was now dealing with was that this patient was terrified of getting better. I’m sure there are plenty of psychological publications and blog posts by some really smart people that have already covered this … Continue reading Tough Love Can Be Tough: On Setting Boundaries with ‘Needy’ Patients

This Odd Simultaneous Pursuit: On Teamwork and my Honest Inability to do it All

I’m not cut out for this job. Not entirely, not always. My ego bristles against that truth, fights that truth with all its emotional strength. There are days when I picture some unreal, superhuman nurse who knows everything (as I approach the still very young two-year mark into my nursing career), who has the skills … Continue reading This Odd Simultaneous Pursuit: On Teamwork and my Honest Inability to do it All

A Strange Gift: The Bittersweet Calling to Nursing

Yesterday was the first time I’ve ever done postmortem care on a little patient, minus the partial experience I had as a nursing student a few years ago. Surreal hardly begins to describe the experience, from cleaning up a messy room that bears witness to the intense activity involved in coding a patient, to making … Continue reading A Strange Gift: The Bittersweet Calling to Nursing

Why I Do Not Care about Social Justice: On Pride Getting in the Way of Genuine Compassion

I can not and should not tell his story. Not in the way that he could. This former gang member had just finished giving our class of nursing students a tour of Homeboy Industries, the amazing ministry to at-risk, formerly gang-involved youth, and the recently incarcerated, headed by Father Gregory Boyle. To conclude the tour, … Continue reading Why I Do Not Care about Social Justice: On Pride Getting in the Way of Genuine Compassion