I recently had the opportunity to share my story and appreciation to a group of 25 rising stars of nursing that were being honored in London for their outstanding contributions to healthcare. The event was hosted by Nursing Times magazine, and I was invited by the Editor-in-Chief, Jenni Middleton, to speak about the patient experience as well as the gratitude that both patients and their families have for the work that nurses do on a daily basis.
The 25 nurses that were recognized consisted of people from all four countries in the UK, from all four branches of nursing - adult, learning disabilities, mental health, and children - and included both students and recently qualified colleagues. These nurses were innovators, ambassadors, and advocates of healing in the healthcare system and shaping the profession with their thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, and actions.
I found it fascinating to hear about the backgrounds of these nursing champions and how they were implementing new and more quality-driven initiatives, taking the time to listen and understand patients and service users, and innovate to make services easier to access and designed more closely to meet users' needs.
Throughout my presentation, I reflected on my background when I was an intensive care patient in the summer of 2004 and the type of care that I received. I thought about my nurses and care providers that went above and beyond just treating the body, but also healing me as a person too. There was a connection, a bond of friendship, and that level of teamwork inspired me throughout the recovery process.
Nursing holds a special place in my heart because I remember personally witnessing the compassion, dedication, motivation, and expertise of these men and women in my hospital room. These daily interactions that I had with my care providers are what inspired me to want to become a healthcare advocate in the first place.
"Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift - there is nothing small about it." - Florence Nightingale