Ode to nurses

Not often, but every once in a while, people find their true calling in life – whether by choice or by circumstance.

Our wife is one of those.

About 11 years ago she revealed she wanted to become a nurse, and she has since spent much of her young life in that capacity.

Having attended the hospital where she works in the emergency department for our own personal reasons, we have, on occasion, “spied” on her while she unknowingly carried on treating patients. It came as no surprise that she was a natural, caring for perfect strangers with a sincere kindness and empathy that we have grown to know and love over the years.

And while the stress of the job can occasionally cause her to second guess her career choice, we are very quick to remind her nothing could be further from the truth.

She was born to be a nurse.

And it seems the same can be said for Shelley Lillie, of Fergus, who works out of Groves with cancer patients. She was recently recognized with the Human Touch award from Cancer Care Ontario. See page 23 for her story, as well as a salute to the 100th anniversary of National Nursing Week.

Nurses are generally great at what they do, and generally under-appreciated for it. That is why every year for the last century Canadians have paid tribute to all those in the profession.

We know first hand the effects the long hours, hard labour, emotional demands, and even occasional verbal abuse can have on those in the profession, as well as on their families. It takes a special kind of person to dedicate themselves to others in need.

We know we couldn’t do it. Nor could the large majority of the population. Which is all the more reason we should appreciate the crucial role nurses play as the heart and soul of our health care system – and not just next week, but always.