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Nurses, you are a blessing to us

COLUMN BY: EMMIE JERNIGAN

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest accomplishment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

– Leo Buscaglia

Tomorrow is the beginning of Nurses Week 2016. This is a special time of year to recognize the many “angels” among us who take care of our friends and loved ones. They work countless hours taking care of our community and at times deal with difficult situations. Having a great nurse by your side during an illness can bring comfort and healing to not only the patient but also the family.

After a lengthy battle with cancer, my father died in the hospital after being there for a month. I can remember so many details about that time. One of my fondest memories is his nurse. She became a part of our family in many ways, and we relied on her for not only my father’s care, but also for emotional support. She would spend time with our family as we asked endless questions and at times cried on her shoulder. I have heard the expression that a nurse is “The heartbeat of a hospital.” This was very true in this instance. I remember when she came to my father’s funeral. I realized that she was as attached to my family as I was to her.

As a consultant for Comfort Care Hospice I can tell you that our own nurses become attached to the families that they take care of. I watch them daily provide excellent, thoughtful and compassionate care.  As a family member who has received their compassion during a difficult time I can say that their compassion during our sorrow was greatly appreciated.

I visit hospitals, nursing homes, assisted livings and doctor’s offices every week. I am amazed daily by the strength and compassion of our nursing community. How do we show our appreciation to the men and women who help our loved ones?  A simple “thank you” is always appreciated. I am sure that they would love a homemade treat or beautiful flowers. Sharing our love with the men and women who touch lives every day. Thank you to all of our nurses. You are a blessing.

This article is sponsored by Comfort Care Hospice. For more information about available services call the number above or visit their office on Belleville Avenue.