One of my instructors in nursing school predicted that I’d take a job caring for children with cancer. I loved building relationships with kids and their families and participating in their long-term care, but oncology? I didn’t think my heart could take so much sadness.
As it turns out, my instructor was spot on. I’ve worked as a nurse on Seattle Children’s Cancer Care Unit for more than two years. And instead of feeling sad, I feel privileged to witness love in action every night I’m on shift.
From the small fingers that curl around mine when I’m checking a pulse in the wee hours to the parents who uproot their lives for the promise of a cure, my patients and families teach me about the power of gratitude and selflessness.
When I need a lift, I read through my journal and remember all the belly laughs, smiles, warm hugs, high-fives and hand-drawn pictures I’ve received from the children I care for. I am truly humbled by their strength and resilience.
I’m proud to be part of a team where I learn something new every shift. Where research informs how we do things. Where doctors trust our opinions and are always willing to teach us. Where I leave the hospital every morning knowing I’ve made a difference.
I can’t tell you the number of times strangers have thanked me after seeing my badge. I always smile and nod, but in my mind I’m thanking the families I serve, because there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.
I Am Seattle Children’s: The People Behind the Care
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Published in Connection magazine, Fall 2017