Being a nurse is tough. Sandra Maria Kluskowski shows us all exactly why her job can be so challenging.
When you experience a medical emergency, in the midst of highly specialized doctors and worried family members, there is someone that you might forget. Through the madness and chaos of it all, there is usually someone by the patient's side, making sure they are comfortable and have access to everything they need—nurses, that's who. Nurses get a lot of flak for supposedly not being as skilled as doctors and are often thought of as high-level clerks, but there is a whole lot more to their job than just walking around with a clipboard and taking a patient's temperature. In a Facebook post that is now going viral, Sandra Maria Kluskowski revealed how difficult and taxing it can be to actually be a nurse.
The nurse highlights the various scary and somber moments right before a patient's death. Kluskowski asks repeatedly in her post, describing all the challenging situations she has seen her patients in, "Did you know I was there?" Her post reads, "I was just another voice getting [a] report and gathering all [the] information so I would know more about you... I came in after gathering all the supplies I would need to get you cleaned up. Could you tell I wasn't in a hurry? I tried to take my time. I didn't need to verbally hear you say you were in pain, your moans were enough and I understood clearly."
"The doctor would soon say, 'We have done all that we can do,'" she continued. "If only you could have heard my thoughts. I've only known you since this morning but I didn't want you to go. Your family knew this was coming. It still didn't make it easier on them. Sobs and tears filled your room but the machines could be heard in the background reminding us all that they were keeping the little life that was in you going. Did you hear me ask your loved ones if they needed anything? I just wanted to help in any way that I could." Kluskowski then went on to share the feelings a nurse experiences when they have to bid farewell to a patient forever and how painful the experience can be even if it's only someone they just met.
She writes, "I just want you to know that I did my best. I was scared again and this wasn't the first time. I wanted more than ever for you to feel comfortable and safe all the way to the moment I covered you with a sheet and turned and closed the door behind me as quietly as possible as if to say, 'I'm letting you rest.' I only wish I knew that you knew I was there." The moving post, needless to say, has deeply resonated with quite a large number of people. It has received over 11,000 reactions since it was first posted on December 6. It has also been shared over a whopping 16,000 times.
In an interview, Kluskowski revealed that she wrote the post after preparing another patient for death — a feeling that no one, even a nurse, can ever get used to. "My heart hurts over the loss of someone's loved ones," she stated. "I wish that I could take that pain from them but I don't have that ability; all I have is myself in which I try to do what I can when it comes to providing the care they need before and after death." According to her, the hardest part of her job is "leaving for the day and wondering whatever happened to that person, and just hoping that if they are not still in the bed I last saw them in, then hoping and praying they made it home." In addition to all the tough tasks that nurses do, the emotional labor of their work can be the most taxing part of it. Though they are incredibly skilled, they aren't robots, after all. Today, take the time to thank a nurse for all the important work that they do.