My most challenging moment so far has been when myself and another member of staff were re-positioning a patient, a man in his 90's who had a stroke. I looked down and he had started to turn purple and was struggling to breathe. I suspected his airways may be obstructed by vomit because he’d been feeling nauseous that day. I pulled the emergency bell and we put him into the recovery position.
He recovered with some intervention but afterwards when doing his observations and holding his hand he was really scared and wouldn’t let go. I realised then how privileged we are as nurses to be with people at their most challenging times and that’s really special to me.
That experience made me think of nursing as a human profession at the most basic level. Regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, we care for all people from all walks of life. There were 75 years between that man and I but there I was holding his hand and helping him through.
Unfortunately he passed away a couple of days later but I will never forget the kind words that his wife said to me about the differences we made.