Of Nurses and Politics II

Posted by on Sep 11, 2012 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized | 2 comments

One of the things I really enjoy about being a nurse is the part where I get to meet a lot of people. Go figure, I am a people person after all. My new job has been especially enjoyable for me. I am no longer in Critical Care. My patients are more alert, more conversive, and for the most part they get well and go home. I’m really enjoying that!

The other night I had a very interesting patient. He made me think. He reminded me of a post I had written a few months ago.

This man is Jewish. He was in a concentration camp when he was thirteen. He told me about that time in one sentence. “They killed my whole family. . . all of them.” I can’t describe the look in his eyes.

He was watching the Convention that night. I think it was the convention of his party, but I’m not sure. It doesn’t matter. What matters is what he said as he shrank lower into the hospital bed. He looked at me with such sadness and said this, “They all say such awful things about each other. They just argue and argue.”

I agreed with him and told him my “I wish politicians would act more like nurses” philosophy. He agreed.

So, today on this day when we remember 9/11 and are facing an important election I am going to do something I’ve never done before. I’m going to cut and paste part of a previous post and throw it out there. We need to wake up folks. We need to start talking and stop fighting. I’m just saying. . .

Of Nurses and Politics

I started my new job last week. Since my official residence is still in South Carolina and I am a republican, I am voting in the primaries this week.

Now, I realize there may be an apparent disparity between those two events, but I think not. I’ll explain why.

I started thinking about this last month when I finished my last week at Lexington Medical Center.  I was so, so, so glad to be done. But, I was desperately saddened. I was leaving “my peeps”. I’ve never called a group that before. For some reason—I’m unsure why—I bonded more than ever before with my coworkers. I think it may have been our differences.

The group that worked the night shift were from all over. There were some from the South, sure. But, there were some from the Midwest, the Northeast, the Philippines, Norway, and even one from that foreign-est of foreign places, South Dakota. But, that didn’t matter.

It also didn’t matter that we were of all different persuasions of religion and politics. There were ultra-conservative people, bleeding hearts, those who really didn’t have an opinion, and some in the middle. We were of every color, “red and yellow, black and white.”

We even had different styles of nursing. There were the “rule followers” who believed the policy is the ultimate document. There was the laissez-faire, laid-back sort. There were the “Lone ranger” nurses who liked to do things themselves, and then there were the “it’s all more fun if we do it as a group” type.

Oh, there were differences. Differences of style, differences of personality, differences of beliefs, and even differences of opinion, otherwise called disagreements. Oh yes, there were disagreements.


There was a unifying cause. There was something that trumped all of those differences and disagreements and that was what made us a team. The patient.

Nothing brings a team of nurses together like these words, “Call a Code.” Or even the slightly less terrifying, “I need help in here.”

When a patient is “crashing” the nurses come together and there is one goal, saving the patient. All differences are forgotten and they work as a team to make sure the patient survives. Maybe things aren’t done exactly like the “rule followers” would like. Maybe the “bleeding hearts” don’t get everything they would like. But, the patient gets their best group effort.

Here was my thinking as I finished at Lexington and now this week as I am being introduced to a new team. I was privileged to work in the midst of such a great and diverse group of nurses. I learned a lot from them, even those I didn’t agree with. Sometimes especially from them. My hope for my new job is that I will find a similar team of co-workers. There is nothing like it.

So, what on earth does that have to do with voting?

If only. If only our leaders in Washington would act like nurses. If only they would realize that our country is in crisis, our economy is “crashing”. In fact, it seems like it might even be “coding.”

We as Americans need to put aside our differences and save the country. We need to give it our best group effort. We need to act like nurses.


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  1. Carol Weeks

    This is great, Miriam. I pray that our leaders will wake up & see beyond their own noses…