A True Labor of Love

Nurse Appreciation Week is over today. It’s hard to believe that we only celebrate Nurses once a year. I work with an incredible bunch of nurses on my Labor & Delivery unit. Had it not been for some of them, I would not have been able to take a few days off to focus and study before my insanely difficult final exam, worth 35% of my grade. That’s the thing about nurses. It is innate, a part of who they are to be generous. I’ve actually often related nursing as an extension of being a mother. Is it a coincidence that Nurses Week is so close to Mother’s Day? Whether it’s time, compassion, empathy or even knowledge, they give of it freely to their families, friends, co-workers and patients.

We all take our jobs seriously. We know we play a vital role in a patient’s experience and we never take that for granted. In particular on Labor & Delivery, you know you will be a part of a moment that family will never forget. I’ve had families of first-time parents, families of multiples, families with a really sick child, families who’ve lost their child. I walk into each room wanting to give this family the love and attention as if they were my own family member. Whether I spend just a few hours or an entire shift with a family, we always form a bond,.I can actually call some of these families friends now. It was a tough decision to make a complete career change after almost a decade invested into a career, but I have never looked back and hold no regrets. Even on the worst of days, I can still say that I love my job. I know that is a luxury that not many can say. It’s so much more than a job and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

As I mentioned before, I work with an incredible group of nurses who are not just my co-workers, but family as well. We’ve not only supported each other on the floor, but at home too. I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to give back with Pampers, to thank them in my own small way. Armed with $500, I had to find a creative way to spread this love to over 150 nurses on my unit. It certainly was not easy but I think I found the perfect way. As our unit has expanded over the past few years, we outgrew our locker room. We were all sharing lockers with 1 to 2 other people. It was a nice locker room with a bathroom, mirrors and even a shower, but it was way too small as we had to work in rotations during shift change to get ready or leave. We finally were upgraded to a much larger locker room, adjacent but not on our unit. We all got our own lockers but quickly noticed that the small comforts that we enjoyed in the old one was missing. I can’t exactly build a bathroom on $500 but I know having a mirror to do a quick once over before we hit the floor was something many people missed. In addition, if you know nurses, we are meticulous and very organized. You can imagine that can even go into our lockers. Our lockers, our private space that holds our scrubs and shoes and personal belongings are often beautiful extensions of ourselves. I for one was super excited when we got our new lockers. I went and purchased a locker shelf and magnetic bin making efficient space usage, even decorating my locker with photos of my children much to the admiration of many of my co-workers. I purchased about 20 locker shelves and another 15 magnetic bins to raffle off. There won’t be enough to go around to everyone, but at least everyone will get good use of the mirrors and 35 of my fellow nurses will be able to spruce up their lockers! Thank you Pampers and thank you to all of my wonderful co-workers who are equally responsible for making my job one that I love!

Congratulations to this year’s winners of Pampers Swaddlers Thank You Nurses Awards: Laurie Milliken (Labor & Delivery), Elizabeth Giambrone (NICU), and Billie Warren (Postpartum)!