I began writing this as a facebook post, but it became too big a piece of writing and I wanted to give it more space and love.
This is my own roll call, my own Nurse Awards.
Happy International Nurses Day.
To Hannah Forster, for the first time we gave a patient’s Last Offices together. You will be a amazing doctor, because you were a terrific nurse.
To Jenny Hurley, for the time we gave CPR on the cold, hard pavement. We were together, thank God.
To Cathryn Davy, Caroline Jackson, Hannah Bethany, Beverley Anne, Sam Fryer and Mark Alsop, for all the times we screamed “I CAN’T DO THIS ANY MORE” and then helped one another calm down. There are too many times to count. Some of them involved fancy dress, wine, and/or biscuits.
To Jen Kane for the fake moustache, and making me laugh more than I have in years.
To Emilia Shurmur, for praying with me, crying with me, and sticking with me.
To Cristi Sheridan, for the worst, most terrifying night shift in the world, with the best ally.
To Thomas Griffin, for being there for me the one time a patient was so horrible to me I cried.
To Alyson Pacanowski, one of three women in the dead of night who prayed over, washed and wrapped the body of a woman. We were a Muslim, a Jew, and a Christian. It was one of the most moving things I’ve ever done.
To Moya Kirmond, because we both admitted we doubted ourselves, and went on to grow stronger and stronger.
To Claire Whitehouse, for all the inspiration, advice, and dancing on tables (Ouch!).
To Matt Mair, Ana Rusu and Priya Hensby for looking after one of their own when I became a patient myself.
To Olivia Sinnott, because we howled with laughter at the worst possible moment of a ‘Code Brown’, and I can’t remember what was so funny.
To Robert Frank. as ever, for being the best mentor in the world, and throwing cotton wool balls at me.
To Ellie Linacre, for all the times yet to come!
When I rage and wonder “WHY I am a nurse, what is it all for?”, of course I remember the patients – the ones I can never, ever forget, whose faces I’ll see until the day I die. It does me a great deal of good to remember all the nurses I’ve worked with side by side, and be awestruck that were were brought together, for those patients, at that time.