Flashing on the big screen is the news of Surrender from Japan and the announcement confirms that 6 long years of war are over. A band begins playing as sailors parade down 4th Ave. Movie reels stop mid show. Shoeshine stations are abandoned. Everyone crowds the streets. Bars line up shot glasses.
The daily news of death and destruction is affirmatively over. The world breathes a sigh of relief. Men and women take to the streets dancing, kissing and drinking well into the night. From this celebration emerged a black and white photo that has stood the test of time.
Just south of 45th street facing north where Broadway and 7th Ave. intersect, we see the image of a Nurse in the arms of a Sailor. She is caught in mid stride and swept back. Her right hand clutching her purse was swept up between their chests. The Sailor clutches her quickly and incidentally leaving his left arm awkwardly placed by her head. She is iconic and timeless.
Notice our Nurse’s uniform is pressed. She is a professional, a professional who allowed herself to be caught up in the global emotion of celebration.
As a nurse, I see a woman displaying pride in her profession. I can’t see her interact with a patient. I don’t see her bedside manner or making a split second decision that saves a life.
How do I know she is a good nurse? Her uniform in pressed and the line on her stockings are also meticulously straight.
But it’s not just about her attire. Even though she is a professional and proud of it, she allows herself to feel the emotion of others. Her left arm is not pushing him away. It would never be appropriate to allow anyone to sweep us into a kiss in our work environment but do we allow our patients and their families to touch our hearts? Do we allow ourselves to feel with them?
I know we don’t always have time to spend with our patients like we wish we did, but this interaction lasted 4 clicks of a camera. We can express our shared emotion in our faces and our body language, our tone of voice and our acts of human kindness.
If a faceless photo was snapped of you at work would I be able to tell you were a good nurse 59 years later?
About the Author
Gretalyn Easler received her first nursing degree in 2001. Since then she has worked throughout various departments in hospitals, but her favorite jobs have been managing a wound care department and working in float pools. Aside from bedside nursing, Gretalyn has also taught medical professionals ACLS, BLS, ECG and Pharmacology and the general community First Aide, CPR and AED skills since 2010. Gretalyn’s passion has always centered on helping people. When she is not in the hospital or teaching she is volunteering in underdeveloped countries.