The Lady in The Hall

depositphotos_62761397_l-2015webThe lady glided down the hall which was dull from aging wall-paper, flickering lights missed by the maintenance man and cool from air blowing down. She heard the noises from the room, puzzled by the absence of a call, aware of the situation. Prepared to fling into action, she entered the room. Her grey hair, twisted and matted, spoke of the past. Her wrinkles expressed her determination to fight, while her eyes glittered peace. The room echoed vibrantly with life, while death hugged her.

“She lived such a meaningful life,” explained the woman’s youngest daughter, herself in her late sixties.  “I love her so very much,” she whispered softly. Silently, the woman lay on the bed, free from sadness, pain, worry or hope. The white sheet was draped over her body, silhouetting her petite frame, covering signs of struggles throughout her 90 years of life. The lady in the hall had bathed the old lady, washed her delicate face and combed her matted hair. Care continues after death, respectful presentation for her loved ones.

The lady left the room, turned and smiled to the visitors and nodded. No words spoken. She glided up the hall to the next room on the ward. Greeted with a smiling young man, she spoke softly, “And how is my young man this evening?  Is your belly still hurting?” The young man nodded his head no, smiling to say thank you. She handed the man his call-bell and left the room.

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The lady glided to the next room, greeted by a different response. “Get out of here!” the middle-aged woman yelled.  “If you don’t have drugs, then I don’t want to see you.” The lady smiled and explained the orders the way the physician had written them. She assured the woman that she was there for her. The woman yelled, angry and confused, withdrawing from alcohol and drugs, lost and hopeless. The lady left to call the physician. She hung up the phone, hurriedly scribbling down what the physician told her. She entered the room and gave the middle-aged woman two tablets. She explained that these would help her get through this and begin to feel better. She looked at the clock, hours passing, shift nearly over.

The lady glided in and out of rooms, providing care, hope and relief. Her patients relied on her for this temporary moment. Their lives were in her hands in effort to improve, unknowing her own pain. All humans experience pain, hurt and sadness. The patients, forgetting this, rely on her. She smiles, moves quickly and continues selfless care. They benefit from her determination and strength. They leave the ward, improved and ready for their own life to continue. She stays and moves on to the next room.

The lady in the hall is there for you. She provides care far beyond her training. She knows every moment is new, challenging her to go further. She is capable of more than anyone knows. The lady in the hall is a nurse. The lady in the hall is there for you when times are challenging. People experience pain, sickness, illness, infection and psychological pressures. The lady in the hall is a nurse, embracing the challenges equally. She carries no biased belief or criticism. She smiles at you to keep you warm. The lady in the hall will always be there.

John Green

John Green, RN, MSN is a Masters-prepared, registered nurse who has worked in healthcare for 20 years. He currently works as a nurse manager for a 46-bed medical unit in upstate New York. He owns and operates a website for nurses: http://www.registerednurseweb.com Read More

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