Nurses are amazing people. This we know. But they are still just people. They feel, and they grieve, as all humans do. They empathize more than most, which is why they’re in the business in the first place. It ain’t a job for the weak of body, will, or spirit.
In Johns Hopkins Nursing, we recently offered a story about the next phase in The American Nurse Project, which when last we saw it was a coffee table book featuring 17 Hopkins nurses (including Sharon Kozachik, PhD, RN, from the School of Nursing). The stunning photos and stories told there captured universal moments of nursing, the joys as well as the sorrows. Now, just in time for Nurses Week, comes a documentary version that features one of the 17, Hopkins Hospital nurse Naomi Cross, RN. Yes, that photo.
Cross, perinatal bereavement coordinator at the hospital, exemplifies compassionate connection, says photographer/filmmaker Carolyn Jones. “In one interview, Naomi talks about how mothers say to her, ‘How could my baby die before it’s born?’ I thought, ‘Wow! Who knows what to say to that?’ ” Jones says.
Go ahead, follow the link. We’ll give you a minute. (I needed a moment after watching it myself.)
Look, nobody needs to tell nurses that the things they see and experience stay with them for better and worse. There’s a program called RISE — for Resilience in Stressful Events — at Hopkins Hospital being thought of as “psychiatric first aid for nurses.” Read about it in the Hopkins Nursing Biennial 2104 (page 8). Nurses being strong for one another — beautiful idea.
Will the film version of The American Nurse Project be as good as the book? Some of you found out May 7 when the finished documentary got its premiere at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD. I couldn’t go. Here’s the trailer:
Not to worry if you couldn’t make it either. Might be the kind of thing that pops up again in Nurses Weeks to come, I’m guessing.
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-Steve St. Angelo