Emergency Nurses
I could tell that the previous seven hours of your shift had been rough. The shifts of an ER nurse are unpredictable and chaotic. I knew you were counting down the hours until you could go home to your own family. I’m sure you were tired, hungry and desperate for a moment to rest, but none of that mattered when you got the call from EMS that my 3-week-old son wasn’t breathing. You were waiting in the room for him when he rolled in on the stretcher.

At that moment, my son was your son. Your feet weren’t aching. Your stomach wasn’t growling, and your bladder wasn’t bursting. The only person that mattered in the world was my baby boy. You worked with such precision and skill. Taking orders and performing with excellence. Doctors, lab technicians, respiratory therapists and radiology technicians were all at the bedside. I was pushed aside as everyone worked to figure out what was going on with my baby. But a nurse was there, asking me questions, telling me that my boy was okay and breathing. I couldn’t think clearly. All I could do was sit and stare in silence and fear. As a parent, there is nothing more frightening than thinking that you’ve lost a child. But you knew that. Because you were a parent, too, and understood.

You took care of my son, made sure he was breathing, swaddled and warm with his favorite pacifier. You answered all of my questions and promptly responded to my calls when I thought he had stopped breathing again. After ensuring my son was comfortable, you left the room and cared for other sick patients of varying illnesses and ages with as much compassion for them as for my son.

Rarely do ER nurses receive specific “thank-yous.” They stabilize their patients and move them to the next stage of care. But ER nurses are often on the frontline of patient care and deserve recognition, for saving lives! Save one life, you’re a hero. Save hundreds of lives, you’re an ER nurse!

Thank you, ER nurses, for all you do every day!

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