Caring Lessons by
Lois Hoitenga Roelofs, I knew I had to share it with all of you and thought our regular Tuesday would be a great day.
I have a tremendous respect and admiration for nurses. They helped bring me into the world, there were many times throughout my childhood where nurses calmed, comforted and took care of me. And during the pregnancies and births of all four of my children, it's the nurses' kindness I remember the most. It wasn't the doctor who stayed with me, held my hand, gave me popcicles to raise my blood pressure when it would plummet or calm me when I worred. It wasn't the doctors who turned the baby monitor down when my babies heart slowed and disappeared or dried my tears when I had to let people take my youngest to the NICU to monitor her heart. And it wasn't the doctor who stayed with my baby girl every moment, making sure she breathed properly or that she kept her formula down so we could finally bring her home.
This is no disrespect to our doctors, of course. But nurses aren't just 'doctor helpers' who change bedpans and take our temperatures. They do so much more. And what they do matters so much. Because of what nurses have done for me personally, as well as for my family (God Bless those nurses who took care of my Grandma when we were losing her to Alzheimer's or those who cared for my Grandpa when he was fighting, and lost, his strokes) and my four little beauties, I wanted to share this book with you.
I love stories about everyday people achieving extraordinary things and this memoir definately outlines this. Lois takes us through the different phases of becoming a nurse. We see the hard work, dedication, training and patient care. We also get to see some of the fun side of training with the close friendships and pranks they all played during times when belly laughs were greatly needed. We also got to see much of the heartache from behind the scenes, what these amazing women and men do when they aren't being strong for us. Have you ever wondered what happens to them or how they feel when they've cared for an older patient for days, weeks or months then have to say good bye? Or being that one person who cared for that baby who was too small and weak to be born, yet helped seem them through it all (or, sadly, gave them the best moments they could have for the time they had)? Or how hard it is to be strong for patients with mental health issues day in and day out?
On top of all of this, these people have their own lives...lives like many of ours. Some have children to care for even after a long shift of caring for others. Others have to deal with personal illness or that of a loved one, even after having to face it all day (or night) long. Still others want to keep moving up and on, wanting to expand on what they are doing by increasing their education and knowledge but feel held back with everything else that's going on. Lois faced most of these things and more. Yet she never gave up--not on her dreams, not on her goals and not on herself.
Lois has the mentality of a shark that must keep moving forward or everything stops. And I truly admire her honesty and her spirit. It's incredibly inspiring. I won't go into too much of the details in this book because even to touch on one aspect will reveal too much. A reader needs to pick this book up and take it all in on his or her own. But I will say that it is a beautifully written book. It's honest, it's 'real' and I most admire Lois for bringing awareness not only to the life of a nurse but also to things such as cancer, mental health as well as being strong enough to be everything we're meant to be no matter how high the hurdles we face. I also admire that she wasn't ashamed to share when things got tough, she made sure to reach out and get help. That takes more courage than most people realize.
I highly recommend getting a copy Caring Lessons. It isn't just a story about becoming a nurse or the nursing profession, it's also about life and what we are all seeking to make it the best it can be.
Thank you, Lois, for sharing your beautiful story with the world and for giving me the chance to join you. I wish you tremendous success with it.
For more information about Lois Roelofs, her book and the other amazing things she's doing, be sure to check out her blog.