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Making Sense of Nursing

The senses of a nurse are many.
They are used to help, heal, comfort and console.

The healing "touch" we strive so hard to find initially soon becomes second 
The ability to relieve pain, even if we have to cause a little in the beginning.
The constricted tightness of pedal edema determined with a single finger.
The quick heel tap upon a newborn babe that brings forth a quick, sharp cry.
The ability to discern the pulse of life, yes or no?

A nurse will see many thing through her career, some good, some not.
The yellowed skin of jaundice, a raging case of cellulitis, the cyanotic lips and 
nails of a lunger, or the tears streaming down the cheeks of loved ones as the 
final breath is drawn.

A nurse's ear is tuned to many things, some, all at once.
The rush of life giving air into the lungs, the bowels as they awaken after surgery, 
the constant blip of the weak heart in the ICU, silent words not spoken by a 
stroke victim, or the prayers, both silent and spoken of a grieving widow.

The nose of a nurse knows many scents.
From the fetid pungency of the neglected suppurative wound, the distinctive odor 
of a UTI, G.I. bleed, and C-Diff, to the freshly powdered neonate, that brings forth 
the mental images of our own children, the fresh bacon in the cafeteria after a 
long hard night and the deliciously seductive scent of fresh coffee at all hours of 
the day.

Lastly, the innate sense of a nurse that she learned to listen to early on, whether 
it be a deafening roar or a feeble whisper in her soul, she listens to them both 
innately, and acts upon them, sometimes, not knowing why, unable to explain.

The senses of a nurse are strong, nurtured and developed as an extension of 
her being.

Copyright © linda smith