Things You Learn When You’re Raised By a Nurse

While it’s unfortunate that it took the devastating effects of a global pandemic for people to recognize the everyday heroics of frontline workers around the world, being raised by a nurse meant I knew early on about their everyday miraculous pursuits. Here are just a few observations and lessons I’ve learned growing up with a nurse in the family!

Organization and procedure

While I can’t quite confirm whether or not this was a by-product of being raised by a nurse, I’m sticking to my theory that nursing instilled a strong sense of organization in my mother and thus was instilled in me. There’s a reason for this; everything in a hospital is kept in order and specifically coded. While colour coding your study notes on cue cards doesn’t exactly save lives… it does help keep you organized when finals season rolls around.

Caring for others

Somehow my younger sister missed the lesson on bedside manner, as she has a knack for barging into my room and throwing the lights on. Whereas my older sister and I learned very early on that caring for others can be very rewarding and helps you to develop important life skills, such as patience and empathy - skills I was able to apply to my job as a Laurier don and that my sister uses daily as a cheerleading coach working with young children.

Appreciation and respect for the healthcare system

I’m going to say this a little louder for the people in the back… ESSENTIAL service work. Emphasis on essential, because some people don’t know what that means these days when they post an Instagram story rant about waiting to be seen at the walk-in clinic for more than 5 minutes. Is it a perfect system? No, but I’m extremely grateful to live in a country that prioritizes access to affordable and reliable healthcare for all. Being raised by someone who has experienced firsthand all that goes into making our healthcare system one of the best in the world gave me a much deeper appreciation for our privileges.

There’s a reason doctors speak in lay-terms

Listen - I can’t help it if I know that when someone has rebound tenderness on their lower right abdomen that they likely have appendicitis, or that nine times out of ten you do not have a meningioma but rather a migraine and you need a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen. But I could probably help the fact that I’m a bit of a medical know-it-all and spare my friends by just telling them like it is.

They’re your biggest advocate when you’re sick

There’s no better advocate in a doctor’s office to have by your side than a nurse. They know exactly how to ask challenging questions and stand up for your wellness when you may be in a compromising position. When we were sick as we were growing up, my mom was the first one to reassure us that no matter what was going on at school it was okay to stay home and recuperate to stop the spread. You can, however, always count on a nurse to administer a little dose of reality when you’re sick and acting like a baby!

If you’re reading this, then please be sure to reach out to your friends and family on the frontlines right now and thank them for their efforts and sacrifices. And remember, they stay at work for us - so, let’s stay at home for them!

Stay safe, Golden Hawks!