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Bolivian Nurse

For educational purposes only. This is not a criticism.

A letter from a Bolivian nurse:
 
This is one of the experiences of the many that I have had and I want to share it with you. 
Your words touched my heart . Here in Bolivia I had many patients and I loved to be with them, talk with them, share their sadness and give them strength so that they can face the illnesses that they have.
 
In the Viedma hospital I had a patient, an elderly man who had been hit by a minibus and had broken bones. I took care of him as if he were my grandfather. I still remember his face but when he died I cried a lot at the hospital because I had become fond of him.
 
A nurse told me that I had to be strong and that I should not become fond of the patients because they are not our family. In truth, I paid her no attention.
 
Also there was a young man who thanked me and told me that I was very good and hat patience with the patients. He had a herniated disc and he changed to another hospital but he was a very good person.
I helped two patients whose families had forgotten them. They suffered third degree burns and suffered so much when the doctors treated them, and I brought them a little fruit or sometimes food because nobody came to visit them. They were in the hospital for a year and whan they left the hospital they called me. One of they went to Oruro (a city in Bolivia) and the other with his children. I met with them and said, how is it possible that you forget that your father is in the hospital. They changed, and they went to see him. Now he is with them. They even invited me to their house for lunch.
 
It made me angry that my co-workers did not want to take care of them because they smelled bad. I went, and I didn’t care about that.
 
There was a young patient, 22 years old, who had cirrhosis and was unconscious. I remember that it was already very late, time for me to leave, and he was with his nasal stomach pump for his feeding and I was leaving and I remembered that I had not cleaned the pump and I returned to the hospital to leave it clean. Afterwards I left happy because I left my patient clean even though he was unconscious for two days. He died but when we did everything we could for him he cried tears. He felt pain even though he was unconscious and could not speak. Now I tell many people that smoking and drinking is very damaging to one’s health.
 
I also met street children who had been stabbed. When they were in the hospital I brought them bananas because the truth is that the hospital staff did not give them the same importance as others because they were from the street. It is unfair what they did.
 
You told me about the beautiful experience that you had with the pigeon. Almost the same thing happened to me. A dog was run over by a car and was in the middle of the street and mini buses were passing and I said that if they pass the center they will continue running over it and nobody was capable of moving it. It was already dead. I crossed the street and lifted it by its little paws and people looked at me strangely, because an animal couldn’t be as important as the people who surrounded it.
I want to tell you that I would have liked to have been your nurse and to listen to you. It would be very beautiful.
 
It is not fair that some nurses and doctors do not treat the patients with importance. If not, why did they study this profession?
 
What is important is that you forget the bad memories and remember always your beautiful memories and I want your health to improve so that your heart is strong. Please take good care.
May God bless you very much, and take care of you and heal you.
 
I am writing a book of poems. I want the book to be small. I even designed its cover but I don’t know how to publish it.. I want to share this one with you:
 
My People
 
They are their suits, black
But on the tips
You will find different colors
They are the people of North Potosi
That are seated
So that you can offer them, a little of you
 
They are smiles of sincerity
They are tears that we see on passing
And I know, that with a smile
Your heart can be conquered
Offer your help to them
Offer your hand to them
And you will change
Their hearts for happiness
a1234poem a1234poem 41-45, M 4 Responses Aug 2, 2010

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This lady is a nurse right to her fingertips. It's been my observation that there are nurses who are good with paperwork, and nurses who are good with people, but that the two are generally not the same people. This lady is amazing with people. Thanks so much for sharing her letter!

I am so sorry he passed, what a dear person to walk the earth. You have such wonderful memories of someone that could care like he did--he is truly one of the great people of the world.

Glad you enjoyed my uncles stories. Sadly he passed away August 31st. Thank you.<br />
Orlando's neice.

Thank you for caring--nursing is such a demanding profession, You have to learn to care, to not lose your compassion and still keep doing your job.