My Brother Ole recently gave me a book, "I Wasn't strong like this when I started out, True stories of becoming a Nurse"
In the cover he wrote, "Brother John, Keep writing!, In solidarity, OKH.
Ole came into my life through a friend, Mary Ann, who called one day to inquire how things were in the ER.
Long story short, she introduced me to Ole,
and he gave me my voice.
Ole became my blog editor, but more than that, he guided me to be able to speak out for nurses and our patients in the hospital, at the state capitol, and in Washington. He led me to the point where I have a voice on the national labor stage and an understanding of the responsibility and opportunity that brings.
At the same time, he has helped me remember that nothing is as important as the one to one interactions with another nurse or a patient.
Nothing so important than listening to a young nurse vent at the end of a hard shift about how frustrating it is to give, and give, and give, and then.......
To be asked the most insane questions such as why did it take you 40 minutes to call a patient back on a positive blood culture? When the nurse was up to her elbows in short staffing, being in charge, and cardiac arrests, and the blood cultures were from 4 days ago!
Today I can sit across the table from anyone advocate for my nurses.
I can demand we be treated with respect.
I am no longer afraid, no longer intimidated.
Today I can advocate for patient safety in Hartford or Washington.
And I can joke and laugh with my patients to ease their fears.
Today I can write my stories about the way of life I have come to love.
Today people read and care about my stories,
and about my nurses,
and about our dedication to nursing and our patients.
No, I wasn't strong like this when I started out.
But then I met my Brother Ole,
and he helped me find my voice.