Nurses and doctors are kinder than that. I know that is a broad statement, but in my opinion, they have to be. I just stayed in the hospital with my mom for four days and nights, and I have so much respect for the women and men who dedicate their lives to working in the medical field. Being there for strangers, who may never show any appreciation for what you are doing for them, is so selfless. It’s a dirty job…in every sense of the word. But there they are, with a smile on their face, making the patient feel safe and cared for. I was there for 20 hours a day and I saw how hard they work. It’s something to aspire to.
While at Marin General we had an amazing ER nurse, Ashley J., who immediately made my mom comfortable and put her at ease. We were in the ER for several hours and I watched Ashley go from room to room, giving the individual patient just what they needed. In my mom’s case, she wants someone with a sense of humor, who can keep things light. The woman to my mom’s left was alone and needed the nurse to make her feel safe and taken care of. The woman to her right was clearly elderly and although she had a caretaker with her, seemed to want reassurance. Ashley did it all in stride. I commented to Ashley that I really respected her for what she does and she seemed taken aback. I said, “It is probably a pretty thankless job a lot of the time.” She told me that it is and that can be challenging, but she finds it rewarding (which is what matters). When Ashley sent my mom on her way (to be admitted), she told her that she had already spoken with the nurse on duty on her floor and that they were going to have “so much fun together” that she was jealous. Again, going above and beyond…and asking nothing in return. Proof that she was “kinder than that”.
My parents and I were greeted on the 5th floor/east wing by Crystal, who was equally as fantastic as Ashley. The first thing my mom asked was where the party was…and Crystal, without missing a beat, told her that it was clearly in room 5305. They were thick as thieves right off the bat. By the time I returned from walking my dad out to the car, my mom knew every detail of Crystal’s life. Crystal did not have to spend as much time chatting with my mom as she did, but she obviously sensed that she needed to know more about her in order to make my mom feel more “at home”.
My mom was probably one of their easier patients, as she is very positive and was motivated to get better. She was agreeable (most of the time) and didn’t complain about anything (except the food). She also had me sitting next to her giving her the “be kinder than that” look. But during our time there I could see and hear the other patients on the floor, and let me tell you, you would absolutely have to be a kind human being to deal with the things they deal with. I could go on and on about how incredible everyone was to my mom (and me). All of the nurses (Ashley, Crystal, Jovita, Kailee, Michelle, Lan and Marie) and Dr. Vaughan (and Dr. Carney in the ER) were wonderful, knowledgeable and clearly dedicated to their jobs. It made the stay at the hospital a much more pleasant experience for everyone.
The takeaway from this whole crazy adventure – remember to appreciate how hard nurses and doctors work. How much of themselves they give to their patients. The kind of dedication it takes to help people who are sick and in pain, and do it with a smile on their faces. So, to all of my nurse and doctor friends – and ALL of the medical professionals out there. THANK YOU! YOU ARE HEROES…and you are absolutely, positively, unequivocally KINDER THAN THAT.