The hour is late. Lisa Rek, R.N., gathers her things and makes her way down a fluorescent light-filled hallway of 7 North. She maneuvers a bag a clothes under one arm as she taps the screen of the time clock, officially ending her shift.
A fellow nurse gives her a quizzical look as she waits for her turn to clock out. Laundry is not something nurses usually tote around.
“One of my patients,” explains Rek, gesturing to the bag. “She mentioned she was wearing her last clean clothes.”
A fresh hospital gown would have been acceptable by most standards, yet far from the comfort provided by wearing one’s own clothes. Rek knows how much this small comfort means to her patient.
She is exhausted from a long, busy shift though that isn’t slowing her down. Tomorrow she will return to check in on her patient, laundry bag in tow filled with fluffed and folded clothes.
As the vaccine comes to the frontline workers, a world of possibilities begins to open up.
For Gavin, the hospital isn’t all about challenges and adversity. It’s about giving joy to others.
The holidays she has altered to care for kids are too many to count, but as she retires, she leaves much for patients and colleagues to be thankful.
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