Acknowledging the Nurses this Week

National Nurses Week runs each year, May 6-12.

National Nurses Week runs each year, May 6-12. As a pharmacist in a hospital setting, I feel very strongly about expressing gratitude, and appreciation for what the nurses do. In my opinion, it would be wrong not to. Through my experiences, nurses' efforts have not gone unnoticed. Here are several examples:

1. Some times while I’m at work at the hospital, I have a highly visible desk, and I double as the information booth. This was the case when a well dressed, sophisticated lady approached me, and asked to speak with a specific nurse aide. She said she wanted to meet this lady, shake her hand, and thank her for bringing her mother back to life. Apparently, her mother was very ill, and had given up on living. But this nurse aide gave her mother, whom we will call Betty, a bed bath several days in a row, and nurtured Betty back to health in such a way that Betty had a new appreciation for life, and living. Somehow, through the kindness from the nurses and nurse aides, Betty found the will carry on, and continue to live her life.

2. I was in the gift shop buying junk food (I mean healthy food). The person in front of me was buying a beautiful notebook, and I started talking to her. She was an oncology nurse buying this journal for her patient, who was dying prematurely of cancer. She said her patient was having a hard time coming to terms with her diagnosis. She was teaching her patient how to journal in the hopes that the patient could make sense of her life, and ultimately die in peace.

I was impressed with this nurse’s generosity. She was using her hard-earned money to care for this patient beyond what was expected. But that shouldn’t surprise me. The nurses also donate their blood, during blood drives, to the patients.

3. I’m participating in a Code Blue, preparing the drugs to be administered. A petite nurse is doing chest compressions. She is so small tht she must get in the bed, and kneel on the edge so that she can leverage her weight to compress the rib cage enough to pump the blood. With each compression blood spews from the patient’s mouth, and there is a putrid smell that fills the room. I can hear the family members in the hallway crying. I see that the nurse doing compressions is getting tired. We need someone else to take over. The others in the room realize this too. We look around making eye contact trying to decide who will be next. I’m starting to feel emotional, like I can’t do this. The code has been going on for quite some time, we are all tired. Just then a very tall, muscular male nurse walks in the room and says, "Step aside ladies, I’ll take over.”

Then the male nurse performed the best chest compressions I have ever witnessed. He towered over the bed, and used his weight to perform the compressions in an effortless rocking motion. The strength, physically and emotionally, that this nurse brought into that room was amazing. The patient passed away, because it was her time, but the family thanked us for our efforts. They knew we tried our hardest.

Nurses take care of people of all walks of life. They bathe these people, groom them, feed them, and nurture them spiritually. Many of these patients don’t normally get that kind of experience.

I have much respect and admiration for the nurses and the work that they do. Kudos to the nurses. I wish them much happiness and success.

For more on National Nurses Week, visit