In honor of National Nurse's Week, we took to the halls of the hospitals our EMTs work with every day and spoke with some amazing nurses. From trauma nurses, to labor and delivery nurses, they all have a story, and they are all a huge part of the care patients receive every day. They deserve our respect and our appreciation every day, but especially in recognition of National Nurse's Week. Here is the story of Arielle Silverman, a Registered Nurse in a Mother & Baby Unit.
"As a nurse, you have to constantly put yourself in the patient’s shoes in order to really empathize and understand what they are experiencing so you can provide the best care. Having the ability to really empathize is something that goes beyond the job of nursing. It impacts how I interact with others on a daily basis."
what made you want to become a nurse?
I was inspired to become a nurse when I saw the amazing care my mom received from her nurses when she was sick in the hospital when I was younger. They really made all the difference for her and made her stays in the hospital much more bearable. Of course you expect your doctors to be the best, but the nurses are the ones you spend the majority of your time with when your in the hospital.
how has being a nurse change your outlook on life?
As a nurse, you have to constantly put yourself in the patient's shoes in order to really empathize and understand what they are experiencing so you can provide the best care. Having the ability to really empathize is something that goes beyond the job of nursing. It impacts how I interact with others on a daily basis.
how did it feel the first time you experienced working with a patient postpartum?
Working with new moms and dads is an amazing thing. It is so rewarding to help them learn about their baby and how to care for him/her. Most new parents are quite scared at first and it is amazing to watch the transition from when they first arrive on the postpartum unit to when they leave two days later feeling much more confident. It is a rewarding feeling to know that I was a part of that.
have you had any lasting relationships with your patients?
I have taken care of several hospital employees or wives of employees and it is so special to see them around long after they were my patient and hear how the baby is doing and see updated pictures. It is also nice when I have a patient who is having their second baby and I had taken care of them when they had their first as well and they always remember you. I love that. In the nursing role I am in, you make a lasting impression on peoples lives, you are with them on one of the most special times of their lives.
most people in the healthcare industry see people at their lowest, how does it feel to see people at their highest?
I feel so fortunate to work on the Mother-Baby unit. I sometimes forget that the rest of the hospital is a pretty sad and scary place. Although it is a very happy time, it is also a very vulnerable and emotional time and I love being able to encourage my patients and reinforce that they are doing a great job and more prepared than they think they are. New parents need constant reassurance and it is amazing to be able to provide that.
what was one of the toughest days you’ve experienced as a nurse?
One of the toughest days I've experienced was when I was taking care of what seemed to be a perfectly healthy 12 hour old infant, and the pediatrician thought she heard a heart murmur. I checked the baby's oxygen and it turns out the baby was born with a very major cardiac anomaly that required surgery as soon as possible. It was very scary for the new parents who were not prepared and didn't understand what was going on. In situations like that, the nurse is really the one to console the patient and provide as much reassurance as possible, and make sure that all their questions are answered.
"Often, patients are too nervous to ask certain questions to the doctors, or they simply don't know how to phrase it, or they only think of it after the doctor leaves. The nurse always has to advocate for their patients."