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Tell Us What It’s Really Like To Share A Life With A Nurse

May 5, 2016
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My mom in 1970.

Today’s guest post is brought to you by Gaye Timiney, MSN, RN, Senior Clinical Operations Consultant at  Kronos.

I am a nurse, my mom is a nurse, and my sister is a nurse.  And our younger brother Mitch reminds us at every family dinner “please no nurse stories”!  And we reluctantly oblige.  But Mitch always acknowledges having three nurses in the family is quite comforting.  He believes he can always expect a third opinion on any health question that may come up.  And of course we most readily oblige.

So is sharing life experiences with a nurse different than sharing a life experience with a teacher, a software designer, or a firefighter?  I decided to ask friends and colleagues to share their thoughts and here are some of their quotes.   One of my favorites is from Charlie DeWitt, vice president,  business development at Kronos. Charlie’s sister is also a nurse.  I asked him to share a thought about her profession and what it meant to him.  He responded immediately with this tender quote, “my sister is a saint”.   Well spoken.

I received a similar comment from my neighbor Louise whose partner is an

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My mom today at 91!

associate professor of nursing at Duke University School of Nursing, ”I am so proud of Kathy and her work with cancer patients; she makes a difference in people’s lives and mine too”.   On a quirkier note, colleague Gil Sullivan, strategic account advisor at Kronos gave me a wink and a big Irish smile when asked about being married to a nurse, he laughingly said “It’s been the best of times, it’s been the worst of times, but I am a good listener”.

When Corrie Halas, RN, healthcare strategist at Kronos asked her husband to contribute, he had two comments, “bossy and naughty”.  We won’t expound on that one.

Terry Graner RN, vice president, operations at Abbott Hospital in Minneapolis is married to a nurse as well.  When asked about sharing her life with a nurse she responded, “he understands me, and that is all I need sometimes”.   That is truly comforting.

From TJ Smith, solutions consultant at Kronos, “It is extremely difficult to find all the right words that would express the admiration and respect I have for my wife, a nurse.  But I know that there are many people that have experienced a healthcare episode and because of nurses such as my wife, they remain like me eternally grateful for their expert skills and compassionate care.   I salute them all.”

One final quote from Jim Kizielewicz, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Kronos told me what he likes about being the husband and father of a nurse;

1.”Now my wife has someone other than me to discuss kidney transplants.”
2.”You better get that looked at comes in stereo.”
3.”It’s nothing, stop worrying about it comes in stereo.”
4.”I’ve doubled my chances of being taken care of when I’m old.”
5.”Now I have two angels in my life.”

So as the world around us evolves and changes with such diversification such as the Triple Aim, the Quadruple Aim, and the Affordable Care Act, nurses remain vigilant.  Ever evolving, always trustworthy, and living life’s experiences at home and work, changing lives, making a difference and being who they need to be at any moment – wife, sister, brother, husband, or child.  Nurses are listeners, givers – supportive and contributing to those who need them most.  Sainthood is not a goal but it’s worth living up too.  To all the nurses who wear multiple hats – we appreciate you.

To close, it has been said that “nurses are silent sufferers”.  We bear a required burden of silence and it is out of silence that compassion, understanding, and a singleness of purpose flourishes. The word “nurse” can take on many definitions too. These quotes from families and friends are just a sample.  If you meet a nurse, know a nurse personally, or just respect them from a far remember all of them during Nurses Week and tip one of your hats.   We love being appreciated.

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