The last couple of months have been pretty rough. The census has been at least 50% above our usual and people are tired of the overtime. Even with nurses floating in from other units and external agency, it's been pretty rough some days. I go home aching and wonder if it's all worth it.
It is, of course, and we keep a reminder very near the nurses station. The bulletin board with the photos and letters is supposed to be there to inspire the parents of our current patients - to let them know that there is hope. It helps the staff too. One picture in particular has been my inspiration lately. She was only 23 weeks, barely a pound.
Her course was rocky, as might be expected, but she eventually went home. That was 18 years ago. Her smiling face is posted on the board - her senior picture. She'll graduate from high school this year and go to college in the fall - athlete and honor student. Her parents are rightfully proud of her. So are her nurses -- and my step is just a little lighter this morning.