Thursday, February 17, 2011

Compassionate people

I recently took an 8 hour plane ride from Seattle, Wa to Iceland. The seats were cramped, but people got themselves settled in and made the most of it. About 4 hours into our flight I hear call bells ringing. No, I was not hallucinating I was at work, they actually have call bells on the plane; flight attendants "attend" to your needs when you use it. I realize how helpless one can feel on a long plane ride, as I was one of the passengers too. There are times when you hear unsettling sounds and experience unwanted feelings of fear, anxiety along with the uneasiness of breathing in about 100 people's recycled air. So you press that button, and in comes a calm attendant telling you it's alright, everything is under control. Offers you a drink when you're thirsty, and shows compassion and empathy when you complain that it's too hot in this airplane.

Over the years I've had good flight attendants and out-right rude ones and let me tell you: a friendly calm face is what you need on a long journey. You're overtired, feeling out of place and unsure of what to expect and all of this makes you feel that much better when you know they have your back and will do whatever it takes to help you get through the long trip. I couldn't help but compare what flight attendants do to what nurses do. On a medical journey there are bumps along the road, but knowing there are trained, compassionate professionals there with you to answer questions, to sooth any symptoms that come and to be with you as the journey happens helps pass the time. In the end you leave the plane, the hospital and move forward to your next destination. Who knows, you may even be back. In the hospital you rarely choose to be there and you certainly don't get to choose your nurse. It's a gamble as to how your journey will.

Maybe you are a nurse reading this, or even a patient/passenger and I wander what you think as you read it? Does it make you want to be a better nurse? Does it make you feel good or upset about our health care system? If you have someone in your life whether a professional or not, and they try to make your life better than thank them for it. We need more decent people in the world out there.

1 comment:

  1. Well said. I am a bit of a restless flyer. But I am very encouraged by the new young nurses I am working with. They show grace under pressure.