Rear View Mirror

Ann Litts
Ann Litts
Feb 3, 2020 · 2 min read
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Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

We talked tonight about All. The. Things. in our very long nursing careers. We had met over a decade ago. Time had slipped away from both of us.

We talked about The Good. The Bad. And The Ugly. How bright and shiny we used to be and how we are now — wizened and wiser.

After I left her tonight — I was overcome with a feeling of sadness. And I am not sad often.

I had spent twenty-five years of My Life in this career.

It has left me with a lot of road rash from the shields I had to carry and sore shoulders from lifting a sword to fight way too many battles.

Every. Fucking. Shift. Every. Fucking. Day.

I looked at my friend over a glass of wine tonight. She was only halfway through it all. I would be done in less than a year. I would be walking away — free to be myself again. For keeps, not just on vacations and weekends.

And I felt sadness for her. And all the nurses out there. Fighting the good fight.

Every. Fucking. Shift. Every. Fucking. Day.

Because no one else gives a shit except us. Not the administrators, not the managers, not the doctors, not the government, and not the insurance companies.

WE are the only ones out there standing up for patients and any kind of compassionate care at all. WE are the only ones without an agenda. WE are the only ones not making six, seven, eight, nine figures off the backs of sick Humans.

We are the ones who stand in blood and wrap the dead.

Not for ourselves. No one ever stays in nursing because it’s good for our own souls or our own health. Nursing destroys nurses. Make no mistake about that.

We stay because of them. Because We are the only ones out there between them and All. The. Things. All The Bad. All The Ugly. Because when you are sick — a nurse is the only Good you have.


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