An oncology ward is a battlefield, and there are definite hierarchies of command. The patients, they’re the ones doing the tour of duty. The doctors breeze in and out like conquering heroes, but they need to read you child’s chart to remember where they’ve left off from the previous visit. It is the nurses who are the seasoned sergeants-the ones who are there when your baby is shaking with such a high fever she needs to be bathed in ice, the ones who can teach you how to flush a central venous catheter, or suggest which patient floor kitchens might still have Popsicles left to be stolen, or tell you which dry cleaners know how to remove the stains of blood and chemotheraphies from clothing. The nurses know the name of your daughter’s stuffed walrus and show her how to make tissue paper flowers twine around her IV stand. The doctors may be mapping out the war games, but it is the nurses who make the conflict bearable.
This is an excerpt from the book, My Sister’s Keeper. While I read this part, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with what it said about nurses. Most of the time they are just ignored, treating some badly or making them have a hard time. It’s high time we thank them for everything that they’ve done for all of us!