By in Personal

I am not a hero, but I do make a difference

I am currently watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition where they are building a new home for a family in which both parents became first responders after losing their son in an accident. They have country singer Clint Black as one of the people helping and he just said something that got me thinking.

He said that first responders, doctors, nurses, paramedics, first responders and anyone else who helps people are all heroes. I instantly thought I'm not a hero, I just go to work every day like everyone else. But then as he started explaining a bit more about what he meant I realised that he does have a point, I make a difference in people's lives and that's why I go to work every day.

The difference I make is not usually anything heroic, but it is important. I can make a difference simply by explaining to someone why they are in hospital and what is likely to happen, it can calm them down and stop them worrying about the unknown of being in hospital. I can make a difference by assuring a family that everything possible is being done to help their loved one survive an illness. Or I can make a difference by ensuring that someone's last moments are as comfortable as they can be.

I don't go to work everyday thinking I am going to save lives, although that is obviously a part of what we do. I go to work thinking I am going to help people feel better, make sure they are washed, dressed and fed properly, make sure that they understand what's going to happen and why and make sure they are getting the treatment they need to get better.

Whether its calming down an agitated patient, cheering up an upset one or giving life-saving treatment to someone who otherwise may not pull through, I make a difference in people's lives. That's why I go to work everyday, that's why I pull twelve plus hour shifts with only a half hour break, that's why I stay after my shift is over to make sure everything is done. More importantly that's why I work so hard at university to get my nursing degree, because I want to make a difference.

So no Clint Black, I am not a hero, I am just someone who is lucky enough to have a job where I get to touch many lives in a single day and I get to go home after a long day and think about the difference I have made to them.

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Soonerdad3 wrote on April 27, 2015, 10:01 AM

I can say you may not feel what you do rises to the level of what it means to be heroic, but I am sure the people that you come in contact at work everyday, feel differently after they meet you.
"Thank You" for what you do!

Feisty56 wrote on April 27, 2015, 10:36 AM

Making a positive difference in someone's life may not be an act of heroism in the literal sense, but it certainly ranks at the top of the list for the type of success that truly counts. Healthcare is so much about machines and procedures that it dehumanizes the patient in many ways. People such as yourself bring humanity and compassion back into the equation, making all the difference in the world. I doubt there's a truly efficient way to measure the difference your words and attitudes can have on patient outcome, but I am certain that it is in the plus column over and over again.

MegL wrote on April 27, 2015, 10:47 AM

That is the kind of difference that makes someone else's life (or death) that bit easier. Thank you for being there.

Kasman wrote on April 27, 2015, 4:13 PM

I guess it's a matter of perspective. You may not see yourself as any kind of hero but I'm sure there are many out there who are grateful for your presence.

WordChazer wrote on April 27, 2015, 5:32 PM

To your patients you are a hero.

Hope your time in the new hospital goes well - I hear it opened today to the first patients.