Yes, doctors are awesome. But nurses are the ones who have the most patient contact. That means they are the ones monitoring medications, cleaning up messes, putting in and taking out tubes and needles, soothing jangled nerves and answering the questions of family members. They are the ones who stand watch all night. They answer the call buttons. They call the priest or minister. They prep the ORs, double-check the med orders, are the first-alert system when something is amiss.
They answer the phone calls, ask the patient all the right questions, pat the baby's back, cheer on the new mom. They suit up for the infectious patient, take the suit off, and then put another back on again...over and over. They play with the child who has cancer, sit with the teenage girl who tried to commit suicide, and applaud the obese young man who is finally losing weight.
Let's hear it for the nurses!
Gentle God, we come in thanksgiving for the nurses in our midst. You have given them a lofty vocation – to mirror your love and compassion for the sick. When we watch them at work, we sense your presence in their words and deeds.
Gentle God, we ask you to draw near to these women and men who have given their lives in service to others. Fill their minds and their hearts with your wisdom and mercy that they might truly be your hands and feet in our institution.
Grant them the perseverance and strength needed to do their job well.
Give them courage to speak on behalf of those they serve and advocate for those in greatest need.
Comfort them in their sorrows and disappointments, in their losses and worries.
Shelter them in times of trial, creating spaces for them to rest and to listen for your voice.
Hear us, O Divine Nurse, and answer our prayer, for you are all good and all kind and never tire of ministering to our needs. Amen.