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'One patient can make you feel like all this hard work is worth it'

  • Comments (5)

I have had a very tough few months as I have struggled with juggling university work, exams, placement, ill children and trying to keep my head above water as everything and everyone fights for my attention.

But an experience I had last week made everything worth while. The tears I have cried over Pharmacology, the tiredness of revising for exams while being on placement, they all faded away when one person made me so happy and made me appreciate that everything I was going through was for one very good reason.

I was spending the day with the Diabetes Team and was in the hospital reception when I kept noticing a bloke waving at me frantically. I have to admit I did think he was perhaps a bit weird so did my best to avoid looking at him. However, I couldn’t avoid him anymore when he made a point of stopping me to say ‘hello’.

At this point I was getting worried and slightly alarmed as he was a huge guy and as we continued chatting it became apparent that he clearly seemed to think he knew me. He confirmed my suspicions when after a few minutes of polite conversation he said to me ‘You don’t remember me do you?’ Well, as you can imagine, when he said that my brain was whirring as I tried to remember what I had got up to on drunken nights out. I drew a blank and had to admit to him that yes - I had no idea who he was.

‘You looked after me when I was a patient here’. Suddenly the memories started falling into place and I did remember him. He had been a brilliant patient, an absolute pleasure to look after. He had only been on the ward for one night but I had spent quite a bit of time with him before he got transferred to a peripheral hospital.

He absolutely blew me away and made me the happiest girl alive when he then said ‘I knew it was you as soon as I saw you, I had to come over and say hello. I wanted to thank you for looking after me so well, I will never forget what you did for me’. I wanted to cry. That one comment, the fact that he had come over to talk to me, well, it stunned me. I’m not usually lost for words, but he managed to make me look like a fish out of water as I gawped, gasped and struggled to find the words to thank him.

I eventually managed to splutter out a thank you and tell him that him stopping me had really made my day. I was giddy for the rest of the week, I’m still reeling now. It is amazing how one comment, how one patient can make you feel like all this hard work is worth it. I sometimes lose sight of that fact that in 18 months time I will be qualified as I get wrapped up in studying. I have always looked forward to putting on my blues for the first time, I have always worked hard and tried my best. But to be told I had done a good job by a patient who remembered me almost a year after looking after him was the best reward I could have asked for.

  • Comments (5)

Readers' comments (5)

  • Anonymous

    This is so true, I can be having a day from hell, on the verge of handing in my notice and going of sick for the notice period because of the stress, and that one sincere heart felt thank you makes everything better.

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  • Anonymous

    awww yeah thats such a good feeling when you appreciated as a person and as a student nurse :D means you are doing a great job

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  • So very true. I have now been nursing for 40 years and they have absolutely flown by.
    I have clinical, teaching and management under my belt of experience but the most rewarding is always, the patient who comes up to you some years later and says, " I remember you" they will then go into everything they remember that you did for them. It is the most magical and rewarding experience in anyones career.

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  • Anonymous

    this has really cheered me up and has confirmed that im doing the right thing. im about to commence my 3yrs of study in uni and have considered that perhaps its going to be so difficult with my 3 children and trying to live a normal life. Its just the little things that do actually make all the difference. x

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  • How very true this is and how it bought tears to my eyes when I remembered occasions this has happened to me in the past. It bought back so many memories and emphasised how much I miss clinical nursing, which is something I knew but had not fully appreciated until this moment.

    Although I have worked in 'desk' jobs in the NHS on and off for several years I went back to clinical nursing two years ago because I missed this part of it. And even though I am now back in a 'desk' job, I am still undecided whether to return to clinical nursing again.

    Even with the stress, the hours, the shifts, the hassle, that one acknowledgement or nice comment from a patient who you put a lot of effort into helping and caring for makes it all worthwhile.

    Thank you for reminding me of this.

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