As a nurse, you arrive at work every single day in the unique position to genuinely change and improve the lives of each patient you encounter. From providing moral support and comfort to timely medical care, you play a vital role in the health and wellness of your patients. On days when your work feels frustrating, challenging, or defeating, these stories can help you remember why you are devoting your life to the practice of nursing.
Take, for example, this nurse’s transition from short-term to long-term patient care. When Jason Cruz entered the nursing profession, he gained a great deal of satisfaction watching patients make quick recoveries and return home within a few days of arriving at his medical unit. But ten years later, Cruz has found even more meaning in caring for patients who require long-term, life-altering care, such as young heart transplant patients. When Cruz met Karl Biesler, he and his family had just found out that Karl’s asthma was actually a symptom of advanced heart disease, and he could only survive with a transplant.
Cruz found himself not only collaborating with Karl’s doctors to provide him with efficient and advanced care, but also providing his parents with an in-depth education about their son’s condition and the “transplant maze” that they’d need to endure to save Karl’s life. Cruz went so far as to coordinate visits with specialists, remain updated with his lab work, and deliver constant updates to Karl’s parents. Of course, he also played a critical role in lifting their spirits and reminding them of the many success stories of similar heart transplants. In the words of Karl’s mother, Julie, “Waiting for Karl’s heart was just awful. We were in a fog and Jason Cruz was our lifeline, always available to answer our questions, day or night.”
Once Karl did receive his transplant, Cruz adjusted his care accordingly to post-transplant mode tasks, especially helping Karl transition back into his normal life and fulfilling his family’s needs. Cruz’s story is just one of millions that occur every day in our country as nurses use their best skills to change the lives of others in need.
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