week of the nurse: one physician's tribute to all nurses

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You make me look good,

.....and I forget your name

You comfort my patient and their family,

.....and go home late to YOUR family

You help my student do the right thing,

.....and I never say "thank you"

You remind me of my duty,

.....and I yell at you for overstepping your bounds

You spend much time saying "yes"

.....when you'd rather say "no"

You find a wrong order,

.....and you call to correct it before the patient is harmed

You stand at the bedside of a dying child,

.....and share the parents' grief

You watch helplessly while society fails time and again to prevent child abuse,

.....while your heart breaks to see these helpless children in so much pain

  • You get kicked, punched and bitten by patients of many ages
  • You clean up poop, puke and mucus
  • You clean wounds and empty drains and bedpans
  • You face infectious diseases, and handle unknown diagnoses with grace and fortitude
  • We argue with you when you are wrong, but rarely acknowledge when you are right

The world thinks a doctor cured their loved one--we may have written an order, or prescribed a treatment, but you carried it out, explained it to the patient, made sure the necessary "stuff" was available in the home, fixed the transportation issue, and advocated for what our patient needed


All this,

.....and yet you return to work every day, for another round of names forgotten, absent thanks, and unsung miracles

All this,

.....and yet you still care


You work so hard, sometimes you eat chips instead of lunch, so you can start that really hard i.v.

You and your predecessors have taught me so much

..... for all the times that I may have forgotten your name, forgot to say "thank you" or griped at you in frustration

I want you to know

I trust you, I need you, I care for you deeply and I appreciate you every moment of every day, even when I forget to show it

This is the WEEK OF THE NURSE.

This week we celebrate the nurses who work so closely with us, who improve our patients' outcomes, and who truly do make us look good. There should be 52 "weeks of the nurse" per year

Because you are always there

Thank You

About Dr. Ackerman

Alice Ackerman, MD, MBA, FAAP, FCCM is the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Carilion Clinic and Professor and Founding Chair of Pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Dr. Ackerman is recognized nationally as an expert in pediatric critical care.

She has been at Carilion Clinic since June of 2007. Her primary goals are to enhance the health care of children in the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia, and is actively working to do this both as physician in chief of the children's hospital, as well as through involvement with many state-wide initiatives.

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