I am sharing a message from a nurse who played cards. Her name is Joyce Murphy-Vandersommen, a surgical nurse and high school friend. This message is reprinted with Joyce’s permission.
Yes, I was the nurse who played cards with a dying patient at night, my son. I would wake up in the morning and go to work and not have a free moment as I tried to heal and comfort someone else’s mother, father, son, sister brother and daughter. Knowing I was going to lose my own son, I still gave my all to yours.
I prayed and I cried with many patients and their families for those who did not make it. I comforted their families as my own heart was breaking for I felt their pain. Yet once again I would play cards with that young man, my youngest son I could not save.
One year later it was those card playing nurses who resuscitated my husband three times in hopes to keep him alive until I could get to him to say goodbye. I didn’t make it for I was caring for someone else’s love of their life while I lost mine.
Before you speak offensive words remember you know not the battles and the demons we live with. You or your loved ones will need us one day. Although you have offended us and belittled us we will answer the call and leave the ones we love to care for the ones you love.I thank God for the nurses who did all they could and promise I will continue to do all I can.
Published by Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN
Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN, is a Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN), currently in her 22nd year as a New Jersey school nurse in the Camden City School District. Robin is the Director for New Jersey to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) Board. She is proud to be a Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow and past Program Mentor. Robin is the honored recipient of multiple awards for her work in school nursing and population health. These awards include, 2019 and 2020 National Association of School Nurses President’s Award, 2018 NCSN School Nurse of the Year, 2017 Johnson & Johnson School Nurse of the Year, and the New Jersey Department of Health 2017 Population Health Hero Award. Robin serves as faculty in the School Nurse Certificate Program at Rutgers University-Camden School of Nursing, where she teaches the next generation of school nurses. She was presented the 2018 Rutgers University – Camden Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award for Part-time Faculty. Robin writes a weekly blog called The Relentless School Nurse. She also writes a monthly column in My American Nurse, the official journal of the American Nurses Association. Robin’s work is included as a case study in The Future of Nursing Report 2020-2030. You can follow Robin on Twitter at @RobinCogan.
View all posts by Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN
1 thought on “The Relentless School Nurse: I Was The Nurse Who Played Cards”
Thank you Joyce Murphy Vandersommen for playing cards and voicing how nurses suffer their own personal losses despite always being there for their patients and families. I send you strength! #nurseswhoplaycards