Friday, September 4, 2015

An open letter

To my hospital on the hill {HOTH}, 

6 years ago I was as green as they come. I walked into your beige colored halls naive and scared for the very first time. In the months prior I had failed out of nursing school, my heart was broken, and you offered the freshest start. I thought picking out a weekend party outfit was the toughest decision I could've made thus far. Little did I know the journey that started all those years ago. HOTH, you showed me that my disdain for anything that comes from the human mouth makes me turn green with nausea and cleaning poop off the floor was far more normal than I ever thought it would be. You reassured me every time I clocked in for those 8 hour shifts I would probably miss my bathroom breaks, eat lunch in a record 15 minutes or under, and actually clock out way past 8 hours because we were short staffed and over populated that day.  I was merely a nursing assistant then. See, I heard a lot of complaining, probably even was a part of it some days but you, HOTH, couldn't get rid of me. I even made the totally rational decision to reapply, start, finish and graduate from nursing school. I didn't think my love for you could've grown, but once again you proved me wrong. As a nurse, the responsibilities bestowed on me only grew heavier and heavier. Not like my weight though, those 15 minute lunch breaks rarely occurred while my bladder should've won an Olympic gold medal for holding the most urine. It was way stronger than I ever tried to be. You often left us bitter and crying on our drives home having us wonder why in the world we were chosen for such a profession. I never understood our relationship HOTH, because you were happy to hand us one more sheet of paper to sign, date and initial without so much a dozen roses or a box of chocolates. You were rarely friendly and if you did get around to feed me, the food was sub par on your best days. Luckily for our relationship, I stuck it out. I endured your long hours, loud call light noises, and hotel like requests. Why you ask? Because I couldn't see myself with anyone else. You have taught me worlds beyond anything I could've learned doing something else. You held my hand, lifted me up, and always had my back against what was outside your still beige colored walls and freshly waxed floors that promptly get waxed every Tuesday (or is it Wednesday) morning. HOTH, you have wiped away the happy tears, hugged my neck during the sad ones and loved me despite the mistakes I've made. You allowed me to follow my dreams, transfer for a fresh start every time my outside world was falling apart, and fed me the bomb taco line the first Wednesday's of every month (now it's on Thursdays). You have allowed me to meet patients I will remember for the rest of my life, with stories I'll share for generations to come. You graciously took us in when the snow came and worked tirelessly to feed, house, and love all of us employees who were stranded. Despite my fear of being admitted to your in-patient psych unit one day from the reality of being a nurse, you have given me a life that I am forever grateful for. See, over the years I have learned that all hospitals probably aren't the most ideal places to work. Any story or letter on the Internet from a scorned nurse could tell you that. It's clear we don't pee, all hate the inventor of the call light, and hold our breath when the new residents try to take over our beloved patients. So I get it. I am team nurse every single day. But despite my lack of always having something nice to say about you HOTH, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Filling out those 3 extra sheets of paper and double or even triple charting just to appease you wasn't actually so bad. HOTH you were my rock and I can only pray my next endeavor is as fun as the last 6 years have been. I will miss our family, but I can't wait to embark on this new journey. I hope to see you again someday.

the once PCA, 
4 year veteran,
still learning,
forever grateful,
intensive care,
cardiac nurse.

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