4 Good Reads to Reflect on the Lessons in LTC
Assessing and caring for others can be a lot of work, but it also teaches us many important life lessons. Working in long-term care shows us how to deal with difficult behaviors, how to appreciate the small triumphs daily, and how to learn from and love those who need cared for the most in our society.
Many writers over the years have written about nursing and caring for older adults, usually a parent or grandparent, and about the lessons they learned along the way. Enjoy a few short poems below and pause for a moment today to reflect on not only the outstanding care you provide for your residents, but also what your residents offer to you in your time together.
Mary Oliver writes about her grandmother, who has been “struck by the lightning of years” and yet still shows love for the garden ants shivering out in the cold of winter. This poem helps us remember that even when our residents struggle with memory loss, their actions can sometimes still be delightfully kind and that’s something to admire and hope for in ourselves.
Florence Nightingale expresses that nursing is a fine art, and she reminds us that we need to work at our craft every day. We need to be devoted to it and prepare for it by learning as much as we can. Working with living human beings can be hard, but we must rise to the occasion, do the best we can, and respect the fine work that we do.
In observing her aging mother, Sharon Olds discovers the strange loneliness of getting older and not quite being prepared for living in a world where everyone you once knew is no longer there. This poem reminds us as nurses to really take a look at what our residents are going through on the path to the end of their days and to figure out what we can do to make their journey better when we finally see what we could not see before looking.
This anonymous poem was submitted to Scrubs Magazine by two healthcare professionals, and it tells us that every nurse grows in his or her work. Also, it is a testimony to nurses who stand strong amid the pain and hardship of their patients. Nurses spread joy to those who need it most and their expertise “is the work of the master’s hand.”
Interested in reading more stories about nursing? Take a look at AANAC’s student resources, where you’ll find stories from the field to inspire you in your career in LTC.
Are you a literary nurse? Have you written a story or poem about your work as a long-term care professional? Send us your story, and you could be published on the Care Connection Blog or on AANAC’s social media channels. We look forward to reading your work!