Do people know your story? The recent movement on Twitter to tell a medical story in one tweet got me thinking. Who knows my stories of nursing besides me? My stories are what kept me going when I wanted to leave, they helped me learn what not to do the next time, they define my perspective in the profession. Stories are powerful.
The first people I wanted to begin with were my children. I found, upon talking to my children, that they had no idea sometimes what my nursing career has been like. Not at all.
So the other day I told them the story of one of the first births I attended as a very young NICU nurse where we knew the baby wouldn’t survive due to anencephaly and multiple congenital anomalies. Single, teenage, first-time mom, she was all alone. The delivery was cesarean due to the significance of the deformities and the baby was breech. What I remember in setting up that delivery, without resuscitative equipment but with warm blankets and morgue paperwork instead, was that the mother refused to hold or look at the infant. I had the privilege of doing both and for the next ½ hour she and rocked back and forth as we walked around the hall outside the cesarean room until she finally gave out.
I made her hand and footprints for mom and took a few pictures, which I took to her in her room the next day in a large envelope. I don’t know if she ever looked at them.
This story led to several others, some funny, some exciting, some sad, but all significant to me in some way…
All nurses have stories like this! Who knows yours? Have you told your spouse? Your parents? Your friends? Your kids? Other nurses?
Have you ever resuscitated a patient in a crazy place? Got stranded in an ambulance or ice storm? Had a patient share something with you that meant something? Had an experience with a student or new nurse that moved you?
If you would like to share yours I am opening my platform and actually have some more interesting stories to come from myself and others. Feel free to reach out to me if you would like to share.