Many caregivers come and go, but the dedicated ones linger for the duration. Most caregivers are family members, friends, next door neighbors, spouses, nurses, medical personnel, and passing strangers. They care without compensation; no pay, no fringe benefits, no retirement plan, no vacation, or no sick leave rewards. Just imagine, if you would, what a caregiver is? Bed maker. Back rubber. Medication giver. Listener. Driver. Housekeeper. Cook. Messenger. Hand holder. Sometimes a peacemaker. So what makes care giving rewarding?
Is it the nights when your newborn or aged mother cries until she falls asleep? Or why she cried. Maybe from a broken heart or lost dreams! Lost loved ones or severe physical pain. Instead of feeling satisfied, you felt helpless. Because you tried to sooth her with warm blankets, music, noise, warm milk, a calm voice, and even alcohol. Not for her, but for you!! You tried position changes, pillow fluff under the head, and a warm bath, but everything seemed useless. Then strolls in the caregiver. You know the one that comes around once a month. You see the look of fulfillment in her eyes, and the call desiring to serve. You know, because the room lights up, the warmth feels the air, and your mother seems to relax. Remember when you saw monsters, had a nightmare, and when you just need holding. Additionally, your mommy just touched your hand, and said: “I am here, just go to sleep”. Wow, and it worked. Right? That is the calling of a senior care franchise. Just touch the hand, and your heart melts.
Certainly, the calling of the care giver involves these traits. The look of the passion, gentleness of the voice, the sound of the feet, smell of the milk chocolate, and the touch of caring hands. The hands are smooth, tender, and beckoning peace that will last for a season. Oh, how the care giver loves the art and always projects that feeling of trusting me!
What if that care giver, that nurse, can hover over their patients, and tend to every one of their needs. Making nursing rounds, listening to the heart, breath, and abdominal sounds. Passing scheduled oral and intravenous medications. Monitoring blood pressure, pulse, respirations, and body temperature. The nurse administers that personal touch by checking the patient’s forehead for a fever, calming the shaking hand with a hand touch, a special heart-tugging look. The nurse voice is reassuring, relaxed, and manages to convey “You are in good hands.”
Yet, the nursing skills are refined, precise, artistic, but sensitive. The nurse performs a blood sugar check, offers orange juice as needed, notifies the doctor, and continue her rounds. They remember to hang an intravenous bag, complete the admission, give a pain medication, and discharge the anxious patient in Room 312. Still, they take the time to sit with the dying patient in Room 308.
However, they forget to take care of themselves. No lunch breaks. No bathroom breaks. No vacation time. No sick call. Under staff. Rotating shifts. Overtime. Burnout. Sounds familiar? But wait. What about the reward of care giving? What about the rewards of touching lives of patients, when the nurse comes in on their days off to see the patients who never receives visitors.
Moreover, nurses who attend the patients ‘funerals to minister to the family. Just because the nurse held the hand while the patients took their last breath. Hugged the family members and cried with them until no tears were left. What do you say to that mother who lost her child in the prime of their lives? Or to a family member when their loved one is transferring to a terminal ill facility, and you know it is the last time you will see them? Only sixteen years old!
The heartfelt emotions of the care giver receiving a phone call in the middle of the night, or thank you note, or dozen red roses. How about a call saying, “I am cancer free” can mean so much? Though they see different patients come and go, but the true care givers will touch hearts for an eternity. Care givers never enter lives without making a difference. Whether they care for newborns, patients, friends, family, or strangers, touch those lives with such much love. Because care givers believe one touch will transform and impact the world for years to come. The reward of care giving is to touch lives wherever they go; the patients, their families, or strangers.