Finding Hope in a Hospital Room

Last weekend, Courtney and I checked into the hospital dealing with preterm labor at 24 weeks. Things improved, and she’s now at home and stable, but before I checked out of the hospital I promised myself I would write down some of my thoughts. It’s my hope that they’ll encourage some everyday heroes like the nurses and doctors we met during our stay.

As I write this, Courtney and I are hopefully within hours of checking out of CMC hospital. The keyword being “hopefully.” That’s a word that I’ve used a lot over the past several days.

Over the weekend Courtney started experiencing some minor complications and we drove to the hospital to have her and baby Greylynn checked out (just to be safe). Long story short, after some testing and evaluation it became clear to the doctors that Courtney was dealing with preterm labor. With Courtney only being a little over 24 weeks pregnant this was obviously a little shocking.

On our first night here as we were reeling with the preterm labor news we had several medical staff members putting us into rooms, starting IV’s, and injecting medicines. It was all a big blur. And for the first several hours it was scary. Real scary.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been rushed to the hospital with a family member, but for awhile you feel like you’re just grasping for something to hold on to. An encouraging word. A good report. An optimistic diagnosis. Anything to lessen the sting.

During those hours we had an incredible team of nurses and doctors. In fact, during our 3-day stay every single person who took care of us was encouraging and comforting.

Well, except for one. I don’t have anything bad to say about that nurse. I wouldn’t even leave an unfavorable review if someone made me fill out a comment card. She did her job. She didn’t make a mistake. And she knew what she was doing.

It was just that during those harrowing hours — the ones where nothing else seemed to matter except hearing a healthy report from the doctor — that’s all she did. She just did her job. And that’s when I realized just how powerful nurses and doctors are, who do more than their job.

The ones who encourage, empathize, and show they care. The ones who see it not just as a job to get done, but a person to get well.

As a husband and a father, the encouraging words and the intentionality that’s shown during difficult moments like those are far more than simple words or dutiful actions. After being on the receiving end of them, I can tell you that they’re healing, they’re hope, and they’re life.

I’ll never forget one of our nurses in particular who casually, but repeatedly would say, “Thank you, Jesus” when reading a positive chart or delivering a favorable test result.

She’ll probably never know how much that phrase meant in those moments, but it showed she cared. It showed she was on our team and was pulling for us to come through. That act may seem small, but when you enter a small hospital room with bad news, your world becomes small. It shrinks to fit into that 10X12 room while you figure out what to do with the rest of your world.

Showing your patient you care in those moments may not be written in your job description, but it affects more than you could ever realize.

So, if you’re nurse or a doctor, please know just how big of a difference you’re making when you do your job with intentionality. Please realize the window of opportunity you have to speak hope and healing to hurting people.

But even if you’re not a nurse. If you’re a teacher, a mechanic, an accountant, or a business owner — if you simply interact with people during the day — know that you have the ability to make a profound difference.

You don’t have to change jobs. You don’t have to be someone you’re not. You just have to care. That’s where it starts.

If you’ll do that, then you’ll have the opportunity to have a hand in more miracles than you ever thought possible.

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