Thankful To Be A Nurse On Thanksgiving

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Not all careers allow a person to positively influence oneself and society at the same time. I am so very thankful to be a nurse because, even though we might have a tough run at times, others find themselves in far worse circumstances.

by TheCommuter TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 16 years experience.

Why are you thankful this Thanksgiving day?

Thankful To Be A Nurse On Thanksgiving

I plan to work this upcoming Thanksgiving night.

But, you know what? I really do not mind working on the holiday at all. I am a single gal with no family of my own, and even though a close friend invited me to spend the holiday with her family, I told her I was already scheduled to work on that day. Although I will not be celebrating the holiday in the traditionally festive manner that entails cooking and spending the day with a house full of extended family, I still have so much for which to be thankful on Thanksgiving.

First of all, I am thankful because I do not live from paycheck to paycheck as the direct result of my solid middle income as a nurse. Prior to becoming a nurse, I was a factory worker at a paper products company, and before that, I worked a string of low-paying dead end jobs in the retail and fast food industry. During a recent visit to a big box retail super center, I was cognizant that most of the workers probably earned less than $9 per hour. After 40 hours of work, someone who earns $8 hourly would gross a whopping $320 per week, or $1280 in a month. After taxes and other deductions, some of these workers must make ends meet on less than $1000 monthly. I thank my lucky stars for no longer having to face the financial hardships with which these hard-working people tackle on a daily basis.

Secondly, I am thankful because, unlike other occupations, I am not tied into a traditional five-day work week with only two days off. I can choose to work an 8-hour per day, five-day a week schedule if I want that. Or I can continue to work two to three 12-hour shifts per week, which enables me to have four to five days off weekly. If I arrange for my days off to be scheduled in a row, I can take a mini vacation and perhaps catch a flight somewhere without needing to tap into PTO (paid time off) hours. So, thank goodness that my job as a bedside nurse enables me to have flexibility.

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Finally, I am thankful because my role as a nurse allows me to have a positive impact on peoples' lives. I am mindful that not every patient who crosses my path wants to be helped. However, the appreciative patients make this job worthwhile. Nothing is more gratifying than seeing a patient discharge to home with the ability to clearly speak and ambulate when, just a couple of weeks ago, he was unable to walk, talk, or eat without assistance due to a stroke. Nothing is more awesome than hearing a patient say, "Thank you for all that you've done for me."

I am thankful to be a nurse on Thanksgiving for so many reasons.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN, CRRN is a longtime physical rehabilitation nurse who has varied experiences upon which to draw for her articles. She was an LPN/LVN for more than four years prior to becoming a Registered Nurse.

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45 Comment(s)

VickyRN, MSN, DNP, RN

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds. Has 16 years experience. 105 Articles; 5,349 Posts

Beautifully written and oh so true! Thank you for another outstanding article, Commuter!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 16 years experience. 224 Articles; 27,608 Posts

VickyRN said:
Beautifully written and oh so true! Thank you for another outstanding article, Commuter!

And thank you for bestowing your knowledge upon the next generation of nursing students, VickyRN. Your role as an educator is vital because the new cohort of nurses is the lifeblood of the nursing profession. After all, they will be caring for us one day.

anotherone, BSN, RN

1,735 Posts

great article. i too will be working thanksgiving, christmas eve and christmas day. i am thankful for the same exact things you are and also that I am able to work! every day i thank god, destiny, the universe what ever, that i am on the other side of the bed and physically and mentally able to work. once i approached things that way, each day is a blessing and i am always thankful, hoping the luck will continue.

OnlybyHisgraceRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC and School Health. 738 Posts

Thank you for reminding us of what we have to be grateful for.

amoLucia

Specializes in retired LTC. 7,641 Posts

OnlybyHisgraceRN said:
Thank you for reminding us of what we have to be grateful for.

While we all have our little ups and downs, thank you for reminding us of the ups that we do have.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience. 142 Articles; 9,945 Posts

Another beautifully written article, and such a great reminder of how fortunate we are to be in this profession. Thank you!

vintagemother, ADN, CNA, LVN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Psych, Geri, LTC, Tele. 2,711 Posts

Thanks for the reminder to keep it all in perspective!

Nursing2102

276 Posts

Wonderful article.

amygarside

1,026 Posts

Great article! Thank you also for showing us how to be grateful in things that we have.

MurseMike33322

Specializes in Trauma Wannabe. 44 Posts

Good people doing GREAT things! You are the advocate, and someone REAllY needs you, and that need transcends turkey and stuffing! Kudos people for being there for someone in need. Karma, nothing but Karma......

libran1984, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 4 years experience. 1 Article; 589 Posts

I'm working and the hospital is providing ridiculous amounts of free food and drink to all of us!!!! I'm eating, sticking people with needles, no managaement, and getting paid.... This is FANTASTIC!!!!!!