As I had many mornings before, I woke up at 5 a.m. to get ready for yet another day at the hospital. On this cool February morning, a group of my nursing classmates and I arrived at the ICU for another clinical.
Sleep deprived and nervous, we received report on the patients we would take care of with the nurses we would follow that day. It seemed like a very typical morning, going through the motions, assessments, meds, tube feedings, checking IV sites... until I encountered a special patient.
She had just had a tracheostomy (a tube inserted into her trachea through which a mechanical ventilator breathed for her) placed. She also had a long list of terminal health problems and diagnosis that would greatly affect her future. She was a very sweet, sweet lady who could barely talk, due to her trach, and would communicate through paper and pen. The nurse and I went about our duties that day and I learned a bit more about our patient. She didn’t seem to have much family around, or friends to visit her. Her conditions were very complicated. If she received treatment for one condition, another would suffer which put the health care providers in a tough position. Things weren’t looking good at all for her, yet somehow she had such a positive presence. She would smile, always say please and thank you (not something you hear often from patients. . .), apologize when she felt she was asking for too much but I would always remind her it was no worries, as nurses we are here for our patients. We kept up the banter of “please and thank you” and smiling to one another throughout the day.
As my time at the hospital began coming to an end I felt the urge to pray with her. I had done so before, but something intentionally told me to just pray with this patient. So I asked to pray with her, and her eyes lit up, she nodded her head and with the nurse we all three prayed together.
After the prayer, I looked up to see tears in her eyes, she quickly grabbed pen and paper & wrote just how grateful she was for the prayer, the care, and the simple acts of kindness. In her note pad, I wrote just how equally blessed I had been by her and her positive attitude.
At that moment, I realized how easy it is to uplift each other as children of God. It didn’t take more than a couple minutes of my time to just pray with my patient. How much more could God do through me if I offered every ounce of my being to His service? What could He do through you wherever you are, what ever your career, how ever big/small? I urge you to open up, to make connections, to take time to be relational and see what you can learn from others and lastly, just love. Love God, love your neighbor, love & see what incredible blessings come from it!
Carolina Lopez is a born and raised Texas gal who is a Southern Adventist University nursing graduate with a passion to serve & share the love of God.