My Special Nursing Moment 2014

by Tera Tuten on May 7, 2014

There’s no question that nurses are very special people. It’s as if a constant stream of TLC runs through their veins, ready to release just when patients need it. As a nurse, you have most likely encountered a patient, a situation, or a moment that will keep you smiling for years to come.

Take us back to your most memorable nursing moment. By sharing your story in the comments section below, you will be automatically entered to win a $100 SpaFinder gift card. After all your hard work, you deserve it!

Soliant Health proudly celebrates National Nurses Week, May 6 – 12, 2014.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Adams 05.07.14 at 10:56 am

The best moment in my nursing career happened very recently. A patient I was about to take to the surgical suite for a spinal fusion requested that her team pray with her and her family prior to going into surgery. Our nurse anesthetist refused.
Our patient was very upset and I requested a new anesthetist , we prayed together . Surgery went very well and she is on the road to recovery

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Tieraney Flores 05.07.14 at 11:17 am

I work in a school where more than 96% of our children live below the poverty line. One of my best nursing moments came when a young girl gave me a broken key chain and a handwritten note torn from a piece of notebook paper to thank me for “taking kare” of her. It was just so clearly straight from her heart! And all I did was put a clean bandage over her stitches each morning for 5 days.

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Faith Belisle 05.07.14 at 12:28 pm

I have been an ER nurse for almost 10 years, I have seen amazing recoveries, helped people breath when they could not, assisted in many cardiac arrests that have lived, I’ve seen the unthinkable, and the unimaginable. The kind of things you only see on tv, or in a lifetime movie. I’ve had to console parents that are screaming for our ER staff “to do more, there must be something else” because the reality that their child just passed away is so surreal, sometimes I can’t even wrap my head around it. While all this goes on, we try to hold back our own emotions, feelings, opinions, and stories of similar experiences. However once you walk out of that room, that is scattered with empty syringes of life saving medications, lights are still bright, monitors are shut off and you close the curtain so the family can say their good byes, and have time with their loved one that just passed with the hospital chaplain, or sometimes just alone. You still have other patients, that most likely you haven’t seen in over an hour because you just spent 45min attempting to resuscitate someone. You have to walk in their rooms and continue to complete nursing tasks, with a smile on your face and hold back all the emotions of what just happened. There are times when it doesn’t hit you until you walk out of work and get into your car and your all e alone… I cry the whole way home, because the pain for that family that just lost their son, daughter, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, mom, dad, nana, grandpa, whom ever, is just so unbearable. I’ve been through it, as I lost my brother when he was 23 very un-expectantly! But after almost 10 years of doing this, I’ve realized that as a family member, I would rather have my loved ones nurse hold my hand or my parents hands, and cry with me. I’ve precepted a lot of new nurses. New Graduates, nurses just transferring to the ER, and nursing students, and the most valuable lesson I have taught them, that when you are part of a horrible code, child or adult, and you feel as though you need to leave the room to cry, STAY! Cry with them, a simple touch on the shoulder and saying I’m so sorry for your loss, is so much more powerful than leaving the room to go cry in the med room, or bathroom. I had a story written about me, from a nurse that I trained, whom came to the ER from the Special Care Nursery. She wrote “I’ve been a nurse for a long time, I’ve not had to deal with deaths of family members, as I now do in the ER. During my first experience, I was with my preceptor and went to leave the room after they had called the time of death because I could not contain my self. She stopped me outside the curtain, and said ‘You can go if you need too, however I want you to think, if you were that patients family, would you want your nurse to stay and cry with you, or leave you alone in the room?'” She turned around and we both went back in the room and consoled the family. Nursing is not just about taking care of the patient, but it’s about taking care of the family as well. It is healthy to feel emotion, and show it! It is ok to cry in front of family! It shows that you care about that “person” that just passed away! They aren’t just another patient, they have a story, family, maybe significant others. I know this was a long note, and I don’t care if I don’t win anything, but I only hope that a new nurse or even a seasoned nurse may read this and touch the heart of the family as they go through a very painful sad time of their life.

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LaTonne Erlanson 05.07.14 at 1:00 pm

While getting my elderly patient ready for surgery, I was reviewing his medication list with him. I noticed that he that he took Coumadin, and asked when his last dose had been taken, and the reason he took this medicine. He sighed heavily and shook his head and replied, “Because I have atrial tribulation.”

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Julia Musick 05.07.14 at 3:29 pm

I was taking care of a gentleman that had a relapse in colon cancer. He had decided that he did not want to have surgery or any type of other treatment and wished to be comfortable in his limited days. One night as I was leaving his room I asked if there was anything else I could do before I left. I thought he had reaponded by telling me to give him good news. Knowing there was no good news I asked him what he had said. He said ” I asked the doctor for a good nurse so they sent me you”, I will never forget that man or his kind words that night. He made me remember why I had became a nurse!

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Chasalee 05.07.14 at 4:04 pm

The time that sticks with me the most is when we got a homeless gentleman in with frostbite. He was a veteran and was having a hard time getting situated in life. He stated that the small bag of clothes with one pair of socks, jeans with holes, and a couple shirts was all he had. We all pitched in and the nurses on our floor ended up getting him a couple suitcases full of new clothes and some warm winter clothes as well. We got him shaved and showered. In his new clothes he looked like a new man. He was very grateful for everything we did for him. The look on his face when he woke up and found the clothes was priceless. The social worker ended up getting him help with his living situation also. Helping people is why we do this job. I’m very proud of the nurses on my floor for all pitching in and making a difference.

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Darcy P 05.07.14 at 4:22 pm

I had this pt. he was very quiet and polite, he was also very ill. It was obvious that he had been indigent for quite some time. He was caked with dirt from hair to toenail. He was on vs and Fsbg q 4hr and it was quite the feat to scrub those fingers for a safe stick.and quit another to actually acquire a drop of blood due to the calluses.
I instantly cared deeply for him, but got to where I dreaded coming into his room. Here’s why- for some reason , techno Murphy had decided to wreak havoc on my machines and interventions each time I saw him. No matter how well I prepared- something went wrong! I suffered these glitches with humor on the outside, (but internal horror on the inside). I thought that this poor man must think that I am the most incompetent nurse ever. For his sake I wished they would give him someone else, because what kind of quality care did he think he was receiving and how uneasy that must make him feel?
Flash forward a couple months. A very clean, smile that will melt your heart, healthy looking familiar face approaches me at my station. He tells me thank you, that I was such a blessing to him. That every time I came to his room- it was like the circus had come to town. I made him laugh and he hadn’t done that in such a long time that he had forgotten how. He had no hope, and he found hope.
You see- I get tears in my eyes when I remember this- it was a life changing moment for me as well. It taught me that grace under fire( no matter how clumsy)can still change a life. That as a fellow being on this planet, we can heal hearts as well.
My machines love to humble me, I now just laugh with affection and and call them friend.they save lives in more ways than we think.

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Mary Robinson RN MSN 05.07.14 at 7:02 pm

I was a hospice nurse for a few years in northern Mi. My patient, who was 21 yo, passed away quickly but peacefully after months of misdiagnosis during a complicated pregnancy where she lost the ability to walk. After the birth of her son, it was found she had a malignant mass on her spine. Inoperable, but had been visible throughout the ultrasounds. No one was paying attention to the shadow at the the top of the image, just the baby.
Upon her passing, I was called to the house. In he middle of a terrific snowstorm. And had to snowmobile in to help as the roads were closed or snowed in….and pronounce her passing. My gift is that I was able to help to give her the dignity and only wish she had requested, to be at home until the end with her pets, son, and family.

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Susan Lyons 05.07.14 at 7:50 pm

While working a travel assignment in an Ohio ER, i was always given the most difficult patients and tasks that others didn’t want to undertake. I encountered a very special young gentleman whom was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome at birth. His mother was single and his sole caregiver with a limited support system. She was very tired and her appearance reflected her number one priority – her son. When approached by anyone he yelled out in fear. It was very difficult to gain his trust and to start an IV. I tried several times to comfort him. He was having chest pain, and labs were needed immediately. I finally sat beside him and told him out about son and how I’m also a mother and tried to reassure him inwould be gentle but we needed to hurry. He agreed to sit still but was very unhappy. At the moment i started his IV he reached for my neck, I was scared but I continued to secure the dressing and obtain his lab works. He then gently picked up my necklace and said “cross ” ” Jesus died here for me. I love Jesus and he loves me! And he looked at his mother and said ” the bible tells me so” — his mother began to cry, of course tears overtook me also. And I said he does love you, and he is taking care of you right now. He hugged me, and said thank you. Jesus loves us all…. In that moment i know that every bit of sacrifice and hard work this mother devoted to her son rewarded her in that moment. I was proud to be a part of such a spiritual awakening.

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Tina P. 05.07.14 at 9:25 pm

My most memorable nursing moment happened very early in my career. I have only been a nurse for about a month, and everytime I think about this particular patient, I still smile!! I was working on a Med-Surg. unit and this gentleman was hospitalized for a couple of weeks. He was kind and thoughtful, but just too quiet! I know this sounds strange fellow nurses, but you know what I mean when someone is too quiet. During morning rounds I sat with him and talked and let him know that whatever he needed, if he was in pain, whatever he needed, I was there to help. He smiled and thanked me for my time, and did not want to take up much of my time. He felt I had more ” sicker people” to take care of. We both laughed and I explained to him that yes there are other people who were ill, but his care was just as important to me, and he started expressing himself. This was such a valuable experience for me and it help to create how I treat my patients. When he was finally discharged, we both cried and hugged! My lesson to my fellow nurses is, I know our jobs are very demanding, but if you take alittle time to go that extra mile, not only will your patients be rewarded, but so will you!!! Thank you all my fellow nurses for all the love and respect that you give to others each day!!

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Tina P. 05.07.14 at 9:31 pm

Susan Lyons, your story made my night, thank you for sharing, it is still good to see that God and faith still play a big part in what we do for a living. There are days that can be so stressful, that prayer can give you strength!!

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Melissa Gatewood 05.07.14 at 9:32 pm

My Special Nursing Moment came recently as I transitioned from a Home Health Nurse to a Hospice Nurse. Just three days prior to her home going Mrs. H. was admitted under Hospice services with my company. I was surprised to receive the call at 3am that her breathing had ceased and her earthly life had ended. I rushed to the patient’s home to fulfill my duties as a nurse: declare the time of death, contact the funeral home etc. After spending three hours with the family of this beautiful lady…it was time to say goodbye to them. As I said good bye and offered my condolences to the family her daughter reached out to hug me. She wept as she thanked me. She thanked me for my words and for my silence…. for treating her mother with dignity, even in death. She thanked me for being a bit of light during such a difficult time. I responded by telling her that it was my pleasure to be there for her and her family ..and for her mother. As I drove away a huge sense of gratitude came over me…this is what I do!! I AM A SERVANT! And I am so blessed to be used in this way!

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Pattie 05.07.14 at 9:50 pm

After being an ED nurse for more than 25 years, I am proud to have been a part of saving many lives, my most memorable moment unfortunately was during the senseless loss of one . Many years ago, a young woman was driving her car and was distracted and veered into another lane. A tractor trailer tried to avoid her, rode up onto the median and tragically rolled onto the woman’s car, crushing her. When she arrived in the ED, she was pronounced dead and unrecognizable. When her husband arrived, he refused to leave until he could see her. I tried unsuccessfully to convince him that this would not want to be the way he remembered her. He was adamant that her would never have closure until he saw her one more time to tell her he loved her and kiss her goodbye. I decided to try and grant his wish. Using everything available, I spent an hour attempting to reconstruct her face including my own make up and scarf. Still unsure of how he would react, I again reinforced that she may not look as he would hope… He insisted. I accompanied him to the cubicle. When I saw the look on his face, I knew I had made the right decision. Tears filled his eyes and he looked at her as if she were as beautiful as she had been on their wedding day… He had the opportunity to say good bye and give her one last kiss. He hugged me tight and thanked me. This was over 20 years ago and to this day, on the anniversary of her death, I receive a thank you card from him. Each card brings tears to my eyes and validates that I made the right decision. We couldn’t save her, but in my heart I feel we in some way saved him.

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Melinda Malone 05.07.14 at 9:59 pm

I came onto my shift one late afternoon to the guteral screams of a single voice. They were non-stop and like all my colleagues, I secretly hoped this patient would be assigned to someone else. As a new grad, I wasn’t certain I would be the best nurse for this patient; but, he was assigned to me, and he had experienced a surgical amputation of a foot earlier that day. Pain meds were no match to offer any lasting relief and his next dose was an hour away. Wha could I do. I remembered the concept of “imagery” for pain relief, from nursing school, so asked if he would hold my hand as I accompanied him on a verbal journey to his favorite place on earth. His spoke of the ocean, so that is where I took him. Warm sand under foot, salty air gently kissing his face, and sounds of the rhythmic waves, distant gulls and happy children filling up his senses. Moments turned into minutes, as as he relaxed into sleep. Six months later, another shift, I answered a call light for a colleague in the near midnight light. A voice surprised me, “I know you, you were my nurse”. It was him and he remembered me! I think of him often.

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Judy Ray R N 05.07.14 at 11:57 pm

Being a hospice nurse is very challenging job and at times you can feel like are you really making a differance. One patient I will never forget was terminal from a brain tumor, sometimes she would get down and I would make my visit and give her what I would call her “Spa day” as i bathed her and lotioned her down she would talk about heaven. She would describe the visions she was having of beautiful colors and of a great mantel. I would give her meds. and tuck her in and she would say I was her angel. The time I got to spend with her up untill her last breath will always be with me and remind me of what being a nurse truely means..it is impossible to put into words but she would thank me and all I can say is “no..thank you for giving me the honor of being the one to take care of you”.

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heather scowden 05.08.14 at 12:31 am

My special nursing moment was when this resident came to us in chronic condition. The doctor said she might live a few days. She bounced back and was doing great within a month. This was the time i started working there. She was suppose to be a non ambulatory resident but one day she looked at me and said i want to get up and walk so i grabbed her walker and we proceeded down the hallway. One of the nurses down the hall started crying tears of joy because she saw the condition she was in when first admitted. Then i looked over my shoulder and her daughter was behind us. She started to cry she was so happy to see her mom walking. That was the most amazing feeling I’ve ever had being a nurse.

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Temisha Washington 05.08.14 at 1:25 am

I am an ob nurse. A patient came into the office in preterm labor. We told her not to push. The hospital was right across the street. She pushed anyway. We delivered the little preterm baby in the hallway of our office, while her family went to pull the car around. The MD didn’t wait on the EMTs. She wrapped the baby up and physically ran him over to the NICU. The patient apologized so many times as if she had done something wrong. I assured her that there were no worries and there is no possible way to stop a baby from being born. The baby stayed in the NICU for months. It has been about six years now. I see the family from time to time. When I see the little boy, I thank God that I was able to be part of his exciting birth. I am even more thankful that he and mom did well and are both healthy at this point.

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Kate zahner 05.08.14 at 3:27 am

I haven’t always done “Happy” nursing; specializing in Oncology, Hospice and Infectious diseases; so my funny stories are rare. One that never fails to make me smile and everyone else laugh took place a couple years ago. I had just started working for a doc that spoke primarily Spanish. I hadn’t spoken Spanish since high school (41 now).. but I was determined to try.. I was pretty fluent back then, and have learned some Portuguese since.. I figured how hard could it be to tell an 80 year old woman that I’m going to give her a vaccine and tease her by saying no crying? .. well I attempted to say that.. The woman’s eyes got huge and her daughter said to me “do you know what you just asked her?” I replied evidently not, by the look on her face. The daughter went on to explain that I told her mom that I was “here to give you a new vagina; don’t have diarrhea! ” loosely translated. . I was so embarrassed. They told the new doctor. She laughed so hard she was crying. I made sure to tell the patient before she left she wasn’t getting a new vagina!

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Frank McHugh 05.08.14 at 8:58 am

Being told at staff meeting that all of you can be replaced and fired with out cause .and we have a pile of applications for yor job.

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Frank McHugh 05.08.14 at 9:02 am

Being told by management during a staff meeting that all of you can be fired without cause and we have a stack of applications for your job . Or getting a call at 6am saying we don’t need you today because census is down 1

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Janet Cobb 05.08.14 at 9:41 am

Many years ago I was taking vitals on a patient and the stench from his body was unbearable. I look at his chart to find out that he was the same age as me. I attempted to speak with him about his smell, his health issues and his lack of not caring about himself. He gave me 99 excuses why he could not live a healthier life style. He had no spouse and was on disability for his health issues. I asked him if he wanted to speak with a social worker and he was resistant. I exited the room in frustration, spoke with some of my coworkers, only to find out that THEY had attempted to talk to him before and he was resistant to get help.
So I went back in the room with the social worker’s info in hand and a plea for him to use it!
He took it, time passed, I did not see him for months.
One spring afternoon, I always walked for my lunch, I hear ‘MS NURSE’. I look up to see this same man looking 100% better…hardly recognized him! So he reminded me of who he was and he thanked me for talking to him and making ALL his excuses go away. This is why I love this profession. Helping someone that repays you with a ‘THANK YOU’

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Janet Cobb 05.08.14 at 9:41 am

Many years ago I was taking vitals on a patient and the stench from his body was unbearable. I look at his chart to find out that he was the same age as me. I attempted to speak with him about his smell, his health issues and his lack of not caring about himself. He gave me 99 excuses why he could not live a healthier life style. He had no spouse and was on disability for his health issues. I asked him if he wanted to speak with a social worker and he was resistant. I exited the room in frustration, spoke with some of my coworkers, only to find out that THEY had attempted to talk to him before and he was resistant to get help.
So I went back in the room with the social worker’s info in hand and a plea for him to use it!
He took it, time passed, I did not see him for months.
One spring afternoon, I always walked for my lunch, I hear ‘MS NURSE’. I look up to see this same man looking 100% better…hardly recognized him! So he reminded me of who he was and he thanked me for talking to him and making ALL his excuses go away. This is why I love this profession. Helping someone that repays you with a ‘THANK YOU’

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Nicole Perez RN, BSN 05.08.14 at 1:05 pm

My most memorable moments as a nurse happens on a daily basis. Working on an oncology unit, I am so blessed to help the most courageous people I know battle for their life. I get to share their most happiest days to their most trivial days. If I have to choose one moment I would have to say the words that came from one of my patient’s “thank you for your help, you are truly an angel.” Hearing this statement touched me deeply and made me proud to be a nure.

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mary robinson 05.08.14 at 6:46 pm

I was a brand new nurse. My patient was a 7 year old boy who sustained a severe leg injury. The daily dressing treatments caused him excrutiating painHe was my pt for many weeks, always had a smile for me. His legveventually healed and he was discharged. Foward 15 years later, I was still working on the same floor when a coworker came to me and said, someone’s here to see you..And there he was, all grown up, with a baby inthe NICU. We hugged and cried and he whispered, Thank You.

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