Interim LSU Public Hospital
"When I talk to my patients about end of life, I talk in terms of "energy dollars". Every day that you wake up with a terminal, progessive illness, your disease allots you a certain amount of energy dollars. You don't have control over how many dollars you'll get, just how you spend them."
Montefiore Medical Center
"I remember being in the hospital, with my parents waiting outside. I always wanted them to come into my room and be with me. I also remember the nurses who gave me injections. With some nurses it really hurt, but then other nurses gave me injections that didn't hurt. Now I understand that it was the attitude of the nurses that made a difference, but at the time I couldn't expain it."
Appalachian Hospice Care
"It was important for me to stay here because I love the people in this area. I want to help them. I love going to these houses in the woods because no one else can get there. To get to one of the houses, you have to drive about a mile up a creek. It helps that I used to be a truck driver and that I like a challenge. Sometimes we have to repel people down the cliffs to get them out."
Bridget L Kumbella
Montefiore Medical Center
"Actually, I thought I'd pursue a medical career, but when I got to the hospital, I saw that nurses really make a difference in helping the patients alleviate their fear. Most of the time it's a fear of not knowing. When you take the time to hold the patient's hand and be honest and genuine, they can feel that energy. That means more to me than being a doctor who comes in for two minutes and walks away."
VA San Diego Medical Center
"My job is taking care of injured soldiers. Any concern you have in your daily life just pales in comparison to the challenges these soldiers are facing. When you meet an amputee who wants to run a marathon, it makes your own problems seem small."
Sister Stephen and the Sister Servants of Christ the King
Villa Loretto Nursing Home
"I feel like the neat parts of life are when you bring babies into the world and when you usher people into eternity. We do some great things with the families. One of our residents had been a long-time employee, and she loved music. So when she was dying, we called together the staff, and we all sang to her. Now it has become a tradition that when our residents are dying, we sing to them, It gives the staff something to do to help, and the families really appreciate it in those last days or hours."
Louisiana State Penitentiary
"You have to be a certain kind of nurse to fit the mold up here. You can't get too attached to the inmates-- that is frowned upon. We have certain rules and regulations that at first seem stupid, but then you realize it's all about security. For example, we can't bring in more than a small amount of hand cleaner because if you mix it up with salt, the stuff can blow up. Or, if you drop a needle, someone will pick it up really quick and hide it in the hem of their jumpsuit. My job is health care, of course, but over the years I've learned to be security minded."
Help for Health Hospice
"When people are dying, the absolutely most important thing is their family. I mean, the family may still be fighting over mony or whatever, but the patient just wants to be with the people he or she loves. This has been a good life lesson for me. It strips away all the things that are not essential."
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
"Nursing is a very rewarding job, but it is also very stressful. We're often understaffed and very overwhelmed with need. But I think that is a symptom of a larger issue, which is that people do not have access to health care. We are simply overwhelmed by the numbers of people walking in the front door."
The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
"People have an outdated conception of nursing. Even my dad used to ask me "Do you still wear a nursing cap?" When I started teaching in 1990, I used traditional techniques-- standing in front of classroom with an overhead projector. Now twenty years later, I teach 100 percent online. Geography has become irrelevant, and the outreach into remote areas has really given me new perspectives. In many ways, as I teach students across the world, I become the student and learn something new every day."
Tidewell Hospice Center
"This work is a continuation of Buddhism, my spiritual path, whose foundation is that everything is temporary. All we have is this moment. The past and the future are only thoughts. I practice this in my life. If I can stay in this moment, I can give the best parts of myself."
Nebraska Medical Center/ Lifenet in the Heartland
"A few years back we had this kid who was on a snowmobile in a rural field. He didn't see the barbed wire and ran right into it. He had a very severe laceration on his neck and was in pretty rough shape. We were able to secure his airway, and the outcome was positive. It's flights like that that make you feel you can provide a life changing service for the patient and their family, but it can be tough. Most times, you can't help but think of your own kids. It reminds you to be grateful every day and give your own kids a big kiss when you get home from work."