Nursing Voices

Friday, April 20, 2007

Target Therapy

Do you want to know a secret? I’m addicted to shopping, but I don’t shop at just any store, I shop at Target. You know, the store with big red target logo and the catchy TV ads. Shopping makes me feel better when I’m feeling blue, and since I’ve been feeling rotten for the last couple of days, I hopped into my car yesterday and drove to Target to get some needed therapy.

Wandering the aisles looking at all the great merchandise usually cheers me up, but not even trying on new clothes lifted my mood, so in utter defeat, I left the store after purchasing a bottle of laundry detergent and a container of kitty litter. I never said that I was a big spender, all I said was that I like to shop. As I left the store and started walking towards my car, a young teenage girl walked towards me and began to speak. She looked familiar, but couldn’t place a name to her face, nor could I make out what she was saying because she was looking down the ground as she was speaking to me. She stuttered and waited to see if I was going to respond to her before she came closer. Then she said the words that I dread hearing. She asked, “Do you remember me? I was one of your patients.”

It’s not that I don’t like seeing my patients, it’s just that I have a bad memory for names, and I don’t like hurting people’s feelings. The youngster must have read my mind because she gave me a little smile and reminded me of her name. She became more comfortable as we chatted about her new boyfriend and her school activities, but I got the sense that she was working up the courage to tell me something important. She finally took a deep breath and told me what was really on her mind. She told me that she plans to go to nursing school someday because of me. I felt my jaw drop, and after a few seconds of stunned silence, I asked her why. She said that I had been her favorite nurse because I’m a little nutty, and because I listened to her when she talked about her feelings. She said that I made a difference in her life. Then the girl’s mother walked out of the store and they went on their way.

My mood lifted as I tossed the kitty litter and detergent in the back of my car. It’s nice to know that you really can make the difference in someone’s life. There are days when every nurse needs a little Target therapy.


Blogger Cliffie said...

We all need a little therapy and you just gave us some. Thank you kindly.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

We don't have a Target in Britain. Am I deprived?

2:24 PM  
Blogger ERnursey said...

I engaged in a little Target therapy myself today.

How nice to get an attagirl from an unexpected source.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Student Nurse Jack said...

You are my hero. Thank you for being hers, too.

9:29 PM  
Blogger TC said...

Totally love the Target. Or as we say in my house, "Tar-zhay", cuz we're classy. How nice to get such a lift from a former patient. Acknowledgement seems to happen so rarely and yet it makes such a difference. It really gives you(and me)the strength to get through those periods when you think,"why the hell am I doing this?"

10:53 AM  
Blogger Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

That is really cool. See? You DO make a difference!! (I know we nurses had that sad habit of tenduing to downgrade ourselves and think that we don't make a difference.)

Alas, my Podunk doesn't have a Target. But there's one in a town about an hour and a half away. I like their stuff.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

Why in the world did I use the word "had" in my comment instead of "have"? (Hope it ain't a Freudian slip....I'm pretty tired this week but wasn't going to throw in the towel yet, heh!) (No, it's probably that dadgum "Vista" in my new computer---the whole system is weird...)

2:40 PM  
Blogger may said...

that must have felt awesome! i love it when i am reminded i make a is priceless.

1:22 PM  
Blogger RX850 said...

Tom Brokaw said "It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference."

Way to go MJ! This is the kind of reinforcement that the job is worth it!!

6:27 PM  
Blogger TwinMamaLinda said...

I con so relate. I have 10 days left of nursing school :) and I need a Target fix like nothing else! I have to drive 106 miles to get to my Target! (Not that I've counted ;))

Great reminder MJ!

7:35 PM  
Blogger Student Nurse Nancy said...

How wonderful is that! Kudos to you for being the kind of nurse that cares, instead of one that just passes out meds and writes up discharge plans. But we knew that already! ;)

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a reverse story to tell:

I was on a psych ward for about a week in December. I said, maybe, a dozen words while I was there. Depression, etc. Admitted to the same psych ward three months later, I was surprised that one of the techs remembered me from last time & took me under her wing, so to speak. It was really touching.

And you /do/ make a difference. Who do you think the patients remember, years after a stay? The nurses (and techs!) that looked after them. I still have very fond memories of the nurses on the ped psych ward -- and I can say that it was their "tough love" that helped me move past my own issues.

10:11 PM  
Blogger nursemanager said...

great it
..have a gander at mysite and get a head start in management.
there is so little at the moment on the net for nurses wanting to know more about management that i thought that i should create a blog for all of us .

8:10 AM  
Blogger Saranonymous said...

That is a really great story. It feels good to know when we've affected someone in a positive way, and it sounds like you did a great job representing the profession. My mom's a nurse, as is my wonderful (said without irony) mother-in-law, so I know first hand all you guys can do.

And Target - woo! I never even go to Wal-Mart. Why would you when there is Target? ;-)

1:31 AM  

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