Florence Nightengale; except in our encounter she was simply known to us as Dianna

Illustration of Florence Nightingale

Image via Wikipedia

Not everyone is meant to do the job of nursing.  Nope, not everyone is.  But to a woman named Dianna, it is a career that was more than suitable.  She not only made my sister’s tumultuous day more comfortable, she made it a pleasure (for us both).

It was a pleasure to just be around her, to see her smile and to be comforted; as if to be comforted once again by our own mother.  I say this because I only wish most in her profession would realize that so many need this ‘mothering’ and care.  Not just the patients but the caregivers as well.  It may be that you medical professionals have seen cases just as these pass through your doors before, but you seem to forget that it is our first time.

‘Beside manner’ is the very thing that has been lacking in the medical profession for some time (far too long) and I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to have Miss Dianna as our nurse. In fact most of the nurses there were extremely nice, but she was exceptional.

So often times the medical professionals are so over worked that they forget the faces behind the charts, the people behind the illness.  They go about their diagnosis’ and their poking and prodding and probing; all the while not even looking up to see into the eyes of the person.

These past few years, while dealing with various family members and their illness’, I’ve had the ‘glorious’ task of also dealing with the arrogance of the medical profession and having to fight for them to see us.  With my fists up and ready and my tongue sharpened with wit, I would stand strong against the arrogant professional, armed and ready to bring them down a peg or two.  I would remind them that they might have gone to the best school or have been the best at [fill in the blank]; but we have never gone through this before, and would they kindly drop the act and just tell us in plain English (laymen’s terms please) what it is that needs to be done?

This day, I had fists ready and jaw clenched when I went back to the recovery room.  But one look at that warm smile of hers and the fists melted and my jaw softened to reflect the smile I was mirroring.  “Your sister’s a bit groggy, but she’s doing well”, she said as I followed her.

What a sigh of relief we had.  Nurse Dianna was right on top of everything.  Pain level, pain medication, food, liquids… my sister was quite comfortable (well, as comfortable as she could be, of course).  And that is truly all we can ask for, is for some care (not arrogance), just care.  Someone to put themselves in our shoes for a day.

And by placing yourself in someone else’s shoes, this doesn’t mean ‘you’ in somebody else’s shoes.  It means you as the ‘other person’, in the other person’s shoes (just thought I’d throw this in in case you didn’t realize the true definition).  And she did just that with everyone.  She was patient, kind, prompt and stern (when necessary).  What a GEM!

The medical profession needs more professionals like this professional.  In fact, they should make it a practice that any and all professionals going through school (nurses and doctors alike) endure all tests, hospital food hospital stays before they graduate.  They must endure the arrogant doctor, nurse, technician, etc…  They need to see first hand how it feels; feel the vulnerability.  Then, they must be the caregiver, and so on.

It is too easy to forget the people behind the faces (that’s true in every profession), but is so much more sensitive in professions of this sort; where people are so vulnerable to you and to your expertise.

Thank you nurse Dianna and to all that have done what you have done and shown; you are a testament to your profession.


13 thoughts on “Florence Nightengale; except in our encounter she was simply known to us as Dianna

  1. Pingback: Schools plagued by nursing shortage «

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    • Thank you for the enthusiasm and the encouragement! Much appreciated as I am still finding my ‘voice’. Please accept my apologies for the delay in my reply and I do hope you’ll pop back in again.

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