Nurses make you better. Doctors chop you up and solve the problem but nurses are the ones who care for you and make sure you get better.
There are many ways in which nurses can make you better and I have been amazed by the difference shown between nurses. They are overworked but still have to treat each patient with care and attention even if the patient before has wound them up or treated them badly.
After I had my first PEG feeding tube fitted I was awake during the night and I couldn't stop crying. The PEG was much longer than I had expected it to be and I was panicking that I would roll over in the night and trap it. Possibly even pull it out. In the very early hours of the morning a nurse came in to change a drip and I tried my best not to cry. He changed the drip and checked I was okay. When he saw I had been crying he asked me what was wrong. The flood gates opened. I couldn't stop. He stay with me and explained how well I had done and how everything was going to be okay. A few minutes later another nurse came in. He also explained how it was good the PEG was so long as it meant I could manage it myself and not need help.
These two nurses sat with me for at least ten minutes calming my fears and making sure I was okay. I had no medical needs but they spent time with me anyway, truly showing the care and compassion nurses need.
After my partial laryngectomy I had two drains in my neck, a tracheostomy tube stitched into my neck and stitches running from my chin to my chest to stop me moving my head. Needless to say everything was very sore. A nurse came to clean my wound. As he was doing this I oohed and aahed a couple of times due to the soreness. I couldn't speak as part of my larynx had been removed so these noises were not that loud.
The nurse stopped what he was doing and started shouting at me. 'Joanna, Joanna,' he shouted. My name is not Joanna and because of the stitches I could not move my head to look at him.
'Joanna, I have to clean this or it will get infected,' he shouted. I mouthed that I knew that. He finished cleaning the wound, redressed it and left me crying in my bed.
This nurse was also the third nurse on this ward to get my name wrong. When I mentioned it to one of them she said, 'well it's close enough.' Another example of not really caring about the people you are treating.
The first example was Rotary Ward at William Harvey, the second example Guy's hospital. Round three goes to Rotary and they lead 2-1.