Introduction

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Nurses

Introduction

Well, my beloved colleagues, we did it again!

I’m often asked which book is better, the original edition of Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul, or the Second Dose edition. I always boast that, because of the thousands of amazing stories submitted by nurses, they are equally fantastic. And now, for a third time, you sent us stories that exceeded every expectation!

You shared true stories from pediatrics (we learn so much from kids in stories like “A Measure of Love”) to geriatrics (yes, you can have snowball fights in nursing homes as proven in “Confession of a Nurse”). From caring for newborn babies (“Angels in the NICU”) to troubled teens (“The Invulnerable Child”) to end-of-life care for the elderly (“In the Sweet By and By”), these stories reveal our tender ministrations throughout the cycles of life.

There are stories for every nurse, regardless of age, gender, experience, or expertise. Nurses offered their stories from almost every field, including schools, missions, volunteering, float, long-term care, transplants, OR, emergency, home health, students, instructors, new grads, psych, sexual assault, holistic, hospice, and more.

Incredibly, we received some from almost every family member. Children wrote about discovering the importance of their moms’ work in “The Bus Stop” and “What Does Your Mom Do?” A husband shared poignant revelations in “The Spouse of a Nurse.”

You’ll laugh yourself silly when you read “Inappropriate” and wipe tears of pride as you relate to the grateful emotions shared by a mother in “You Were My Arms.”

The breadth of what we do is beautifully demonstrated in these pages, recounting how we heal bodies (“Nurse Jesse”), minds (“The Gold Miners”), and spirits of our patients (“A Nurse Named Michael”).

You’ll enjoy an entire chapter on angels, proving that nurses truly are angels of mercy. Another chapter shares incidents that most people believed were Beyond the Call of Duty, even though the nurses thought they were simply doing their jobs… on duty or off. Whether a simple bath (“A Better Nurse”) or backrub (“Keeping the Pace”) or intensive care (“Privileged Presence”), our hands and hearts bring healing.

These days, things seem to be getting harder and harder in health care, and staying positive and motivated can be a real challenge. In this book you will find inspiration to keep on caring. The entire last chapter is a Thank You, to all of you who give so selflessly.

So keep a well-worn copy in your locker, backpack, nurse’s station, bathroom or break room. Read stories in solitude or together as a team. You’ll be reminded why we entered this profession… and why we stay.

This book is not only our gift to you, it is your gift to one another. We hope it brings you all of the hope, health and healing you bring to those you serve.

For every hand you’ve held, song you have sung, and life you have touched, we thank you with all our hearts.

~LeAnn Thieman

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