International Nurses Day
Sunday the 12th of May marks International Nurses Day. This day was founded In January of 1974 and marks the birth date of Florence Nightingale – the founder of modern nursing. Each year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) prepares and distributes the International Nurses Day kit, which contains public information and educational materials.
I believe that nurses are overworked and underpaid, but this never affects their work or their compassion towards patients. I have fond memories of some of the nurses who have seen me through hospital stays and they have made a lasting impression on me.
The first nurse was a lady who used to do the night feeds for my daughter in the wee small hours of the morning and talk to me when I couldn’t sleep. She made me feel safe during my three-month stay in a side room.
The second memory is about an Irish stoma nurse, and my matron during my last stay when I was recovering after having my stoma refashioned and rectum sewn closed. The Irish stoma nurse was absolutely amazing and spent a fair amount of time running around the hospital to locate flat base stoma bags for me, as I wasn’t allowed to use the convex until my bowel restarted. She also saw me through a rather traumatic bag change and walked in armed with a suction machine to suck up the output that wouldn’t stop flowing, so we could get a stoma bag reattached after a rather unfortunate leak.
The matron knew me from my last stay and did everything in her power to help me off of the IV pain relief after I had a bad reaction. She also found the time to rub me down in Aqueous cream when I came up in medication-induced hives.
Below are others stories about their lovely nurses:
Vikki – I will be forever grateful for my amazing stoma nurses. They hug me when I feel like I can’t do it anymore and tell me, ‘yes you can, you’re doing great.’ They see me twice a week for dilation and they talk to me which takes my mind off the pain of dilation process.
Tomas the Stoma – My stoma nurse became my friend. I can always get in touch and know she will get back to me straight away. In hospital, she cheered me up when things got too much and I looked forward to her visits (I was in hospital for nearly three months).
Man with a bag – My stoma nurses are amazing. I remember walking into their room a few days before my stoma operation, scared and confused and they put my mind totally at ease and patiently explained everything. They have stayed with me and are always there when I need advice or guidance. They are angels.
Arfaan – My stoma nurses carried me in hospital. They were always there for me, gave me assurances that I was going to be fine and they continue to be there for me when I need them. All my other nurses are brilliant with me too. I have nothing but love and respect for all nurses.
Amy – This may be short and sweet, but my stoma nurse has done so much for me. One of the most simple, yet comforting, things she does is give me a hug when we say bye each time. It makes so much of a difference!
No One – My first stoma nurse is still my nurse – that’s 15 years! She has supported me through all the worst bits, including the emergency surgeries for a rupture! She always tells me how proud of me she is, as I had a 1-year-old at the time. She has really grown with the family!
Mike & Nuisance – There were no stoma nurses in my day! All the gastro nurses knew their stoma stuff. At the age of 14, during a 13-week stay, one nurse took me from the ward to the park, whilst she had assignation with her boyfriend, with me as a lookout! She also, during visiting hours, smuggled her new kitten into the ward in a handbag for me to see.
Brenda Meakin – Not sure if this is the kind of stoma nurse story you are looking for, but it might make you smile. My hospital has a team of three stoma nurses who are really lovely and supportive. I know that I am really fortunate. When I was recovering from surgery, I had a bag leak and one of the girls sat me on the toilet to help change the bag. She crouched in front of me to do so, suddenly lost her balance and fell forward into my lap. My reaction was to fall back and my arm set off the flush sensor, so I got the benefit of a bidet. Trouble is, we laughed so much that I did it again. It always gives me a giggle when I see them.
Wishing all the lovely nurses a happy International Nurses Day and here’s hoping you will get home to rest at some point during the day. A big thank you to everyone who shared their stories.
Many thanks for reading,
Those sharing their stories who wish to remain anonymous have been identified by their blogging names.