“No flatline here.”
The beating of hearts is strong today, this Valentine’s Day.
Some hearts beat because another heart beats in rhythm. Others continue to beat because of the giving nature of someone else’s heart.
The description of the giving heart includes you, my nurse friends. Your patients’ hearts still beat because of yours.
Nurses are known to sacrifice for the sake of other people’s wellbeing. You are, by nature, a group that denies yourselves in order to help other people. And selfless, giving acts are at the – ummm, heart of Valentine’s Day.
The origins of Valentine’s Day are murky. But it seems there were at least three men in the way-back days by the name of Valentine who risked or sacrificed their own lives to help others.
Many, many heartbeats later, companies happened to find romance to be lovingly lucrative to their bottom line, nudging the industry toward celebrating romance and away from celebrating sacrifice.
I suggest, at least for the duration of this column – maybe longer – that we get back to the original meaning associated with being a Valentine. The name itself means strength. Any of us who have had many dealings at all in the medical community vouch for the strength of nurses. Seemingly endless strength carries nurses through crazy-busy single or double shifts or frenetic days at the office.
As nurses, you sacrifice your own well-being. Sleep, meals, breaks, restroom runs? Who needs ‘em? YOU usually do, as you so often shortchange yourselves in the relentless demands of helping those who can’t help themselves.
Not only that, but your efforts are not acknowledged nearly as often as they could and should be, by those you serve. We patients are too absorbed in our own pain, physical or otherwise, to think about yours.
Studies reveal that of all the people who receive Valentines, teachers receive the most. They certainly earn them. But know that although you might not receive Valentines from your charges, you’re equally deserving of them.
Valentine traditions and recipients around the globe are as varied and unexpected as the contents of a box of chocolates. As Forrest Gump’s momma says about chocolates and life in general: “You never know what you’re gonna get.”
How about the unValentine? One of Japan’s workplace Valentine customs has to do with two kinds of chocolates: favorite chocolates and cheap chocolates. If a co-worker appreciates another coworker, a box of ‘favorite chocolates’ is given. I coulda gone broke over the years.
If there’s not so much in the way of warm fuzzies going on between the two, then cheap chocolates are bestowed. Hmmm, yep. I can think of a few times I would’ve made a quick run to the dollar store.
But for all you sacrificing, under-appreciated nurses, I can only offer these words as your big ol’ box of Favorite Chocolates. Dive in. Enjoy every last sweet, savory bite. It’ll do your giving, strong heart good.
Happy Valentine’s Day to the keepers of our beating hearts.
The Short Chick with the Walking Stick’s upcoming book celebrates professional caregivers as the StickPeople they are. For four decades, they’ve helped Kris Harty Stick to It – No Matter What! She provides a patient’s perspective that is educational, inspirational, and insightful. Part memoir, part application, Kris helps student nurses, newer nurses and not-so-newer nurses remember why they joined their amazing profession in the first place. She shares how they positively impact patients’ lives, with minimal time and effort. Little things matter. Kris is the Thought Leader on People Helping People Persevere. She leads the conversation through writing, speaking, coaching, and small group discussions. A 40-year veteran of the medical industry – on the receiving end, Kris Harty is the Stickabilities Specialist at Strong Spirit Unlimited. If you’re looking for an effortless and meaningful way to lead your staff toward continued quality caregiving, contact Kris. Call 877.711.STIC(K), email StrongSpirit@StrongSpiritUnlimited.com, or visit www.StrongSpiritUnlimited.com.