When a tired nurse stares up that ramp.

rscn02551239901867.jpgIn order to get to my unit from the hospital’s front lobby, you have to ride the elevator to the 5th floor, and then walk up a series of ramps before ultimately reaching the 6th floor telemetry unit. My home, sweet work home.

I’ve written before about this final leg of my morning commute – about how when I was a new nurse, my anxiety level would grow with each and every step up those ramps. It still does sometimes – even after all this time.

That’s because you never know what you’re walking into once you get up there. In healthcare, the things that “can happen” take on a whole different level of intensity.

Oh, yes they do.

So, when I got to the hospital last Sunday morning, I was coming back after having just put in a really tough shift the day before. Looking back, though, I can’t really remember any “one certain thing” that had made things so difficult. It was just a 14-hour accumulation of absolutely nothing being easy. Not a single, little thing.

Following this kind of day is what makes the walk back up there the next morning so incredibly difficult. I swear the darn ramp actually gets steeper the morning after.

So, as I started my hike upwards, my legs were just dragging. I was trudging. It wasn’t anxiety gnawing at me this time, though. I was just grumpy. I simply didn’t want to be there. I just didn’t want to.

What if I’m walking into another Saturday? Or worse? What if it’s actually worse?

Well, by the time I finally made it to the nurses’ station, I joked with everybody that Jesus had had to drag me back up the ramp that morning.

Really, I was only half-kidding. As much as I love my job, my patients, and my work family, it was just not easy to go back for more after a day like Saturday.

No matter what our profession – and regardless of how much we may love it – there are just some days where a little help is needed to put one foot in front of the other and go do it all again. It can be tough sometimes … and we may whine, “whyyyyyyyyy?” I know I sure do.

But actually we really should ask “why?”

Why DO we do what we do? And I mean the BIG “why”. Dig deep. What’s driving us?

Yes, there are going to be days like my Saturday – they’re inevitable. But, more importantly, there are also going to be Sundays that follow.

The sun will rise again and we have to press on.

Move forward.

Do it again.

So … instead of sliding back down that ramp straight into my safe, warm bed like I really wanted to, I decided to stop right there and remember WHY.

I made myself remember why I do what I do.

God called me to Nursing. And He called me to care. And, more importantly, He called me to KEEP caring – even after Saturday.

Even if the Saturdays keep coming.

Even if Sunday is worse (and, oh my goodness, it actually was).

Even if my legs are dragging.

Even if I am sick.

Even if I think I can’t do it anymore.

Or maybe I don’t want to do it anymore.

He’s calling me to walk back up that ramp.

He’s calling me to keep caring.

Even more than yesterday.


Because He spoke my name.

He whispered, “Come follow me.”


Right here on earth.

In front of everybody.

No matter what.

Tough day, easy day.

Keep following.

Keep trusting.

Keep caring.

But I have to choose it.

Over and over again.

I have to remember again.

I’m doing this because He wants me to.

And, seriously … Jesus did NOT drag me up that ramp. Jesus doesn’t “DRAG” anybody anywhere. He doesn’t have to.

He led me there.

Now, I don’t know what’s driving you, but my prayer is that you know Jesus. My prayer is that you trust Him to lead you up your own “ramp”, whatever that may be. And I pray you trust Him to keep you climbing, and most importantly to keep you caring.

Because with all the chaos going on in this world – with all the ugly we face, and all the “Saturdays” we’re forced to endure – following Jesus is truly the only way to not reach that point where your toast is absolutely burnt, and you simply recoil back away from everything.

This world makes us want to stop caring. But we can’t. We simply can’t.

Thanks for growing with me. ❤

“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)

One thought on “When a tired nurse stares up that ramp.

  1. Pingback: When you’re staring down Monday. | Growing Nurse Debi

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