On this very day – September 24, 1827 – Mercy Founder Catherine McAuley opened the first House of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland. We honor Catherine and our Sisters of Mercy today, on Mercy Day, with powerful words from one Mercy nurse – highlighting the beauty, the hardships and the dignity of caring for patients every single day.
Jillian Robertson Davis, a Mercy intensive care unit nurse, was recently inspired by Miss Colorado’s monologue about being a nurse for the talent portion of the Miss America pageant. Jillian gave us permission to excerpt the social media post she shared with family and friends.
Dear Miss Colorado,
This nurse would like to say thank you from the bottom of her heart. You have united a group millions strong. You have brought our career, our talent, our calling and our passion to the forefront.
Some days I feel like “just a nurse.” Some days are filled with seemingly little things. Some days are filled with bringing ice water and pain medicine. Some days I have the time to wash and braid my intubated patient’s hair so she doesn’t wake up from her coma with dreadlocks. Some days I feel unappreciated. I’ve had every bodily fluid imaginable on me. I’ve been slapped, punched, bitten, kicked, strangled (yes, that really happened) and had a full bedpan thrown at my head (yep, that one really happened too. I know, I still can’t believe it.)
Sometimes I lay awake worrying about my patients, wondering if I could have done something more for them. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and call the night shift nurse to check on them. Some days are incredibly heartbreaking and unimaginably hard and I wonder if my heart will ever recover.
I’ve placed a one-week old baby on his mother’s chest so he could listen to her heartbeat one last time before she died. I’ve sat and cried with a mother who knew this was her last night with her son and listened to her tell the stories of his childhood. I’ve hugged wives as they go home to sleep alone for the first time in 65 years. I’ve held more dying hands than I can count because I truly believe no one should have to leave this world alone.
Some days I laugh with my patients, some days I cry with them and some days I pray with them. Some days I witness miracles and some days I witness tragedies. Some days I leave on time at the end of my 12-hour shift, and some days I’m there for two hours after I was supposed to go home.
Some days I care for politicians and some days I care for prisoners. I treat them both with the same love and respect I hope I receive when my day comes to be in that bed. Some days are mundane and some days are incredibly hard, but every day I’m proud to be “just a nurse.” And every day I’m grateful for the incredible men and women who share my calling, including Miss Colorado.
-Jillian Robertson Davis