International Nurses’ Day #IND2014

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Today is International Nurses’ Day and it’s a great opportunity to give a shout-out to the nurses who have made a difference in our lives. When I give talks to oncology nursing students, I make a point of letting them know how much I valued my own breast care nurse, Marina, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Marina was the person I turned to when I was trying to make sense of the maze of medical procedures I had to navigate.  I believe nurses have a key role play to play in bridging the gap between the sometimes incomprehensible medical system and the patient.

Often nurses are the human face of medicine for so many of us. I will never forget the nurse who sat by my bed and held my hand after I had my first miscarriage. It was late at night and I had just been admitted to a hospital ward with other mothers who had just given birth.  That’s the worst part of the maternity system; you have to go to the same hospital and through the same admittance procedures as everyone.  She understood how difficult this is, pulling the curtains gently around my bed and holding my hand as I cried.

And when my mother was dying in hospital, again, it was the nurses who took tender care of her. I will be always be grateful to the nurses who have shown kindness, humanity and compassion at the times I’ve been in most need of it in my life.

Who are some of the nurses you would like to celebrate today?