I can’t imagine what it is like to look after someone with ebola but I got an insight last week when BBC news interviewed a nurse who had just seem a baby die from the virus.
On the point of tears she demonstrated care and compassion for her patients but what really struck me was her immense bravery working with a high risk group of patients.
After watching the clip I was left with so many questions about her motivation to work with people with ebola and why she had put herself in such a high risk situation. I was also left feeling guilty that I have never done something as amazing and self-sacrificing.
We can’t all set off to Sierra Leone or Liberia to look after people with ebola, but that short news report made me reflect on what motivated me and others to become nurses and why the system sometimes knocks it out of us.
In the busy and sometimes chaotic world of clinical nursing it can be easy to lose sight of that original motivation.
Sometimes getting the job done is the only achievable goal but as Florence Nightingale said: “The tasks can all be done but the patients receive no care”.
Yet, despite all of the barriers and obstacles, I meet nurses all the time who are doing amazing things for patients. Such as the nurse who organised a singing group for people with COPD and the nurse who made an activity board for her patients with dementia.
Inspirational nurses whose work is guided by the needs of patients. That is how nurses make a difference every day.