Registered Nurse Rachel MacDonald works in JRMC’s Emergency Department. She’s been spit on, kicked at, prayed for and wouldn’t change a thing.

Throughout my career in nursing, I have learned to overcome some of the most challenging obstacles in life and have been so inspired along the way. I have seen what life looks like through the eyes of a person dying, a drug addict, an alcoholic, a cancer patient, a burn victim, an accident victim, from a person newly diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, from a family member witnessing their loved one die while we do all we can to save them. I have witnessed and cared for people at their weakest most vulnerable moments. I have cried with them, I have laughed with them. I have held their hand and attempted to show them that glimmer of hope and strength they still have within themselves when they have hit rock bottom. I have seen people during their darkest hours. In return I have been kicked at, screamed at, spit on, I have been emotionally and physically abused, I have been left exhausted only to turn around and do it all over again. I am a nurse.

In return, I have been rewarded, praised, thanked, hugged, prayed for…I have been emotionally, physically, and spiritually enlightened. I have been constantly reminded by others why I do what I do. I have offered my heart, my compassion, and my concern to those whom I have just met because they have no one else to turn to. I’ve held the hand of a convict, a meth addict, a mother who is miscarrying, a husband who is watching his wife die, a patient with a contagious disease, a baby who stopped breathing… I have worn my heart on my sleeve in order to feel theirs. I am a nurse and I wouldn’t change a thing. I have found the place where my passion meets compassion and that is where I found my real purpose. The best way I have found myself is by losing myself in the service of others. They say that every nurse will have one patient that they will always remember. I am blessed to say that I have dozens. They are the once in a lifetime kind of people that have taught me very valuable lessons on life. I am a nurse and I am proud of it.

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