Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system, yet many times we wonder if anyone notices. Well last week, Jimmy Kimmel, shared a personal story to millions of viewers about how an attentive nurse noticed his newborn baby boy had a problem.
In his monolog, he noted as the nurse performed the newborn assessment, she noted that the baby had something wrong. She noted the child had a heart murmur and was a ‘little purple’. The nurse immediately took the baby out of the room to the nursery, summoned the team so that the child could be assessed and treated. Hours later, the baby was transferred to a specialty Children’s Hospital where emergency surgery was done. Today, (at the airing of the show) the baby is home and doing well. According to his Dad, he will need to be watched closely and will need additional surgeries to repair the heart defect, but… because of one nurse who noted a problem my son is alive today.
From a nurses point of view, the experience Jimmy Kimmel shared, happens every day in every corner of the healthcare system. As a father, he was grateful and humbled. But to me as a nurse, I was grateful that Jimmy Kimmel used his platform to showcase the important work that nurses play in today’s healthcare system.
I was moved by his monolog and thankful that he took the time to share his experience – it could not be a better introduction to National Nurses Week! In case you missed it, click here. As I watched the monolog, I felt proud to be one of the 4.1 million nurses who quietly do their jobs every day in hospitals, managed care organizations, home care agencies, rehabilitation centers and other areas where care is provided for the millions of people who transition through the broad healthcare system. Most times our jobs are routine and matter of fact, but everyone once in a while, we recognize a problem and leap into action. Nurses are able to do this because of their training, their expertise, and their professionalism. They use the skills they have to educate and encourage their patients and their families.
In Jimmy Kimmel’s monolog, he shared the experience intelligently and with emotion. Through his words, you could tell he knew the diagnosis, the plan of care and the severity of his son’s condition. You can tell he had been educated and empowered by the team of professionals who cared for his son and was already advocating for his newborn son. It was a wonderful example of patient empowerment and all nurses should be proud.
To all my nursing colleagues, take the time to celebrate the work you do and know it is appreciated even when no one tells you! For patients and caregivers, when you encounter a nurse this week, thank them for what they do! To all members of the healthcare team, make sure your nursing colleagues know they are appreciated and valued!