I arrived at the station still blurry-eyed and pillow-creased. The night charge comes over and tells me that an elderly patient I’ve been with the last two days died early that morning. The family had already left by the time I arrived. The body was being taken away as I made my first trek down the hall.
That afternoon I was told someone was holding for me on the phone. It was the patient’s daughter. I had gotten to know her over one afternoon and two long calls that weekend. I don’t remember the entirety of the conversation, but I do remember a particular instruction of hers.
She was crying on the phone while thanking me for the care I provided for her and her mother. She said, “I know you don’t hear this enough, but you listen to me. You are the perfect person for this perfect job. You put that in your pocket for those dark days when no one sees what you do.”
And then, of course, I started to cry.
These last few weeks I’ve had patient encounters that have left me teary with reminders of why I’m in this profession. I started blogging posts about some of the positives in my job because I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by all the negatives lately.
It seems glaringly obvious to me now, but I’m quickly learning that I’ll find whatever it is that I’m looking for – good or bad.