Life Advice



Nurses Offer a Hand to Hold

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: We hear so many accounts of sick relatives dying alone in the hospital and family members feeling helpless and guilty because they can't be by their side, even though it's not their fault. I'm a retired nurse, and I hope I can let these families know that their mom or dad, spouse or loved one is not dying alone if their nurses can help it.

Taking care of these critically ill patients, it's easy to become attached to them, and most nurses are trying to take care of them, treating them as if they were their own parent or loved one. They aren't just giving their patients the best medical care they can possibly give; they try to give as much compassion as possible.

Every nurse I know, or have ever known, seems to have that extra spark that pushes them to take those extra steps to make sure the patient is as comfortable as possible and then some. You see, being a nurse is our chosen profession, but being a nurse isn't just what I do for a living; it is who I am! I have written a poem that I hope makes some family feel a little less helpless.

"A Hand to Hold"

By Patty Palmer

"Lying in a hospital bed there in the ICU


"She tries to calm her fears not knowing what to do.

"The nurse tells her that she's been ill for quite a while.

"She holds her hand while she explains with a kindly smile.

"Wondering where her family is since they aren't there with her


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