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Enlightenment of a Nation

What has happened while I was sleeping? My feet hit the floor; phone grabbed as I started towards the living room to turn on the news to get the latest update. I am aware a large part of the nation joins my early morning routine. Today is different. I opened my phone to view only one thread and put my phone down. I did not turn on the television. I sat at my computer to write. I began thinking about my nursing career, of which I have retired. I started comparing what the medical profession knows that our nation can learn. The American people, along with our leaders, are in the grips of learning what the medical professional automatically does daily. Lives depend on it. Or will we? Dealing with the Coronavirus is not the first time a nurse would walk into their job, knowing they were at risk. They also know they have the potential to place others at risk. It is a daily adventure and a norm. We know we can bring home diseases to our families. Taking precautions and self-accountability is how we live. Washing our hands routinely and with the paper towel turning off the faucet and grabbing the doorknob is automatic. Simple actions save lives. I speak from the voice of a nurse, as it is my background. I recognize everyone in the medical profession, as we are all in the same boat. We have respect for our peers and their expertise. We are reliant on one another to produce positive outcomes. Listening to one another, learning, and collaborating is imperative. We do not have to be "right"; we have to find the correct answers together. Our patients' safety must be our priority. Perhaps this is a lesson to be learned by our national leaders as well as our nation. We indeed are in this same boat called America. A nurse knows they can harm someone rather than help when not seeing the total picture. I recalled the first time I realized that a little information was dangerous. Passing on or reacting to one piece of information or inaccurate information can be detrimental. It puts our patients at risk. There is a reliance on every team member to do their job and do it well. No one can drop the ball. Each facet of the profession is equally important as each one contributes to providing safe care. Many Americans are stepping to the plate today. Many acts of kindness and generosity to our neighbors are taking place. The goodness in America is overflowing, but do we acknowledge it? Are we capable of seeing the positive outflow of care for one another? Do we recognize an idea and collaborate to find answers? Are our leaders capable of doing the same? Preventive medicine is at our forefront. Gathering scientific facts to do so can not be omitted. Buying time to collect this information is where the nation stands today with the Coronavirus—buying time to arm ourselves to fight this war equally as necessary. Staring potential death in the face brings on a different reality. There is a feeling at the end of the day as high fives to one another are given, sharing "it was a good day to save a life." Full knowledge shared that each person contributed in their way necessary to accomplish the task. No one could be omitted and have a positive outcome. It presents the possible arena of inherent respect and kindness towards one another. The feeling of unity is indescribable. The bond created lasts a lifetime. Grieving is included in this unity when the results are not favorable. Multiply it tenfold when this occurs. One can not take private information home; to be shared with your coworkers only. Is this awareness plausible for the people of the United States? Can mutual respect and kindness be shared? Can placing our countries welfare above self-interest attainable? The medical profession is reliant on scientific facts, while with full knowledge, the human body does not follow the rule book. Each patient reacts differently to treatments, both physically and mentally. Each healthcare worker accepts the anger and sick humor released at very inappropriate times. We learn not to take it personally. It occurs in our patients as well as in ourselves. Such activities are an escape valve releasing tension and stress to continue our work with a clear head. It is a genuine part of coping. We are human, and so is all of America. All of America is grieving in one way or another. Can we give one another a break, and move on with the challenge at hand? Discharge planning begins upon admission. It is providing safety and a healthy home life upon release starting immediately. It is comforting for patients to know their lives could return to normal or what their new normal is going to be and given the tools on how to adapt. It gives hope that this too will pass. America will not go back to the lives we had before. There is a new norm. Otherwise, we will not have learned the valuable lessons unfolding to us today. In time the scientific data will be revealed. Our country will continue to respond. This worldwide pandemic is changing the face of America, as well as the world. What is my discharge plan? Watching America react to this threat is rather revealing. Can we take the good, the bad, and the ugly to build a better nation in the future? Each American holds an essential piece of this recovery. Every American is as crucial as the person beside them to find the answers and produce a healthy outcome for our nation. It is essential to hold our leaders accountable and hold them to the same standards of care we do for our patients, for America. Can we respect one another and play nice for the health of our nation? Time will reveal this answer.

Be brave and fierce but always remain humble.


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