Working in healthcare I have seen and experienced much more than I ever expected when I started out in this field – the beginning, the ending, and especially all the messy stuff in the middle.

I have enjoyed a lot of it and also sighed deep breaths of relief when some shifts are over. Phew. But every day, whether it is beautiful or painful, smooth or challenging, has yielded lessons about life and about living a fully engaged one. Every day is an opportunity to learn. For me, it is mostly about caring and connection. How can I connect with people? How can I make a difference today?

Over the years of working in health care I have learned a lot. This is a random list of skills I have developed or learned over the past two decades, in no particular order.  

  • Bed baths with humans in the bed (harder than it sounds)
  • Bed linen changes with humans in the bed (also hard)
  • Managing lines, IV lines, ECG lines, oxygen lines, so many lines
  • Managing time
  • Cleaning up fluids, so many fluids (humans are made of a lot of fluids)
  • Cleaning up a patient so their loved ones can see them
  • Defibrillating patients
  • Defibrillating really tense situations
  • Calling surgeons at 2 am
  • Calling codes
  • Holding hands
  • Holding space
  • Delivering uncomfortable news
  • Delivering wonderful news
  • Giving shots
  • Calling the shots
  • Sitting quietly and waiting
  • Sitting on my hands and biting my tongue so I don’t say the wrong thing
  • CPR
  • Seeing people. Who they are. Where they are. What they are. Seeing humans and humanity.

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