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Posted: May 6, 2011 12:00 a.m.

Nurses are special people

I discovered quite by accident that this was nurses' week.

One of the nurses at Riverside, a skilled nursing facility here in Covington, had on a different colored uniform, and it caught my eye. When I asked about it, that is when I found out it was nurses' week.
My wife and I spend a good bit of time at Riverside visiting her mother. So we have gotten to know a number of the nurses.

The thing that impresses me the most about the nurses is their concern for the residents.That may not sound like a lot, and if it doesn't, you haven't spent much time in a skilled nursing facility.

Even the well-run facilities like Riverside, for all the cleanliness, activities, and physical care for the residents, are grim places, emotionally speaking.
Most of the residents aren't going home. It is debatable whether a majority of the residents could tell you their names or the correct date. And then there are residents who seem locked in worlds populated by jinns and demons only they can see.

The emotional needs of the residents is simply over-whelming, yet the nurses we have met show concern for the residents and make emotional contact with them.
Visiting a relative, as my wife and I do, is one thing. Concern for the relatives of others, well, that is just a different category altogether. It takes a very special kind of person to show it, day after day.
Nurses are special, and we should all take the time to show our appreciation for them, while we still have the faculties to do so.

Patrick Durusau is a Covington resident whose columns run Fridays.

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