• Rachel Ogilby

We are the resilient ones

“We are the resilient ones” is a quote I see every day at work. Our CEO has been quoted saying this, and it has always spoken to me. One of my colleagues asked me to write a piece for a collection of resilience stories, and this is what came to me. I hope it speaks to some of you and reminds you how awesome you are!

We are the resilient ones

Nurses are one of the most trusted professions. We are known for being caring, compassionate, honest, and hard-working. We greet you with a smile, ask how you’re feeling, and listen to your stories. Many of us chose the profession because we love caring for you, listening to you, and advocating for you. We are proud of our career choice. We hope to prepare you to get back to your normal lives by instilling resilience in you.

Yet whether we know it or not, we are the resilient ones.

As a patient, you may have entered the hospital with pneumonia, a broken hip, or a heart attack. Your injuries may range from a quick consult in the ED to a long stay in one of our ICUs. Either way, we beam with pride when you return home or proceed to rehab to get stronger. We know we played a small role in your journey.

Yet whether we know it or not, we are the resilient ones.

Nurses realize early in our careers that we chose a very challenging, demanding profession that will test our endurance and strength. We hide our struggles from you as much as we can. We hide our tears in the car on the ride home, conceal frustration when we can’t find equipment, bury grief as we video chat with your loved ones, and ignore dehydration from willingly putting your health above ours.

Yet whether we know it or not, we are the resilient ones.

One of us just began our 4th 12-hour shift in a row. One of us was up all night with a sick child. One of us picked up an extra shift today instead of being with our family. One of us is struggling to adjust to night shift. One of us keeps checking our phone because a parent has become ill.

Yet whether we know it or not, we are the resilient ones.

We are reminded from the outside world that we matter. 2020 was determined to be the Year of the Nurse, and this has extended into 2021. We are given a week every year to be celebrated, and we are commended by anyone we meet who learns we are a nurse. We know we are appreciated. And yet, we are tired, weary, and worn. How can we cope with such a heavy world depending on us?

Yet whether we know it or not, we are the resilient ones.

How do I know we are resilient? Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. If nothing else matches this description, nurses do. We are still here. We are still passionate about your recovery. We are still proud of our profession. We are still working together as a team.

We are the resilient ones.

My fellow nurses – continue to be proud of what you do. You are each an inspiration to the rest of the healthcare system and the world. You have supported us since before COVID-19 and you continue to be our Atlas, holding us on your shoulders. You are our advocates, our protectors, and our guardians. You inspire us, lead us, and guide us. We are honored to know you, work alongside you, and be cared for by you. Hang in there. Find hope. Know you are valued, cherished, and appreciated. Whether you know it or not, you are the resilient ones!

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