On days of intense struggle, it’s not always possible to focus on the bigger picture, or end point. That’s just too overwhelming. Sometimes it’s better to focus on the minutiae; like hunting down the hospital for your patient’s favorite chocolate pudding, and seeing them smile the first time that day - for it is the only thing they really want. Or maybe the non-English speaking patient would simply like a newspaper from the gift store in their language, so they don’t feel so isolated. Your day, and your world may feel like it’s crashing down around you, with all the unit chaos - but in that moment, you’ve done the most basic thing you can do for your patient, and that’s to help them retain some kind of choice in what they can have, when most of their choices are stripped away. That’s how you get through. You concentrate on the trivial things they ask for. Not everything in nursing needs to be monumental to be profound – sometimes a pudding and foreign newspaper are all that matters.
I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I’m supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I’m praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.