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You have no family, a handful of close friends, your lying in a bed alone and scared and in pain and there are no nurses. 24 hours a day in a bed and if your lucky, it's only for a day or two. If you're very lucky, you'll only be there for a couple of hours. If your not lucky... than wouldn't you want a compassionate smile to accompany your hospital stray?

I read stories reading the importance of nurses, medical assistants and hospital technicians. I write medical articles and I type words of how valuable a career you will hold as a Medical Assistant. I promote a world of nursing that helps those in sickness and I glamorize the noble theology of hospital technicians and Registered Nurses. But even I didn't get it until I visited a friend in the hospital.

The (not so) funny thing is that, I've been in hospitals myself and yet, I didn't get it. I've read numerous articles about dialysis and understood all of the basics for the dialysis preparation and procedures. I knew what to expect and I was prepared to visit my friend and offer smiles, hugs and comforting words.

I wasn't prepared.

I visited my friend in the hospital and I cheerfully went to his hospital room where I was instantly hit with the reality of what it truly means to be in a hospital and how incredible important nurses and technicians are.

The room is small and is probably no bigger than the size of an apartment kitchen and the first thing I saw was a large portable closet size dialysis machine. The presence of the dialysis machine seemed to make the room cold and merciless. With one glance at the women sitting in nurse's scrubs in front of this cold-blooded machine, I knew that she was an experienced dialysis technician. She sat in a simple chair taking steady notes as she glanced from the machine to my friend's medical chart and than to the tubes inserted into my friend. The energy released from the technician was one of experience and expertise and the balance she initiated between the three was as skillful as deep breathing. Because of her, I felt confident for my friend.

The dialysis technician at the hospital was wonderful. She didn't get involved with the patience's personal visit and was part of the hospital room and the equipment. However, it just didn't seem right to simply pretend she wasn't there so as I spoke to my friend, I addressed her as much as my friend. The dialysis technician understood my need to recognize her and joined the conversion.I had to end my visit much too soon and promised to visit again

As we grow older we become more acquainted with life and death. I guess it's part of being an adult and living. Some of us may have a family member or a friend who have died before their time. Most of us can remember as a child going to this funeral or that funeral of a relative. The internet also brings death closer to us and publicizes it more than ever before. But, maybe we forget... maybe we choose to forget what being in a hospital is like.

When you are sitting by a person in a hospital, you really never know when the last moment will be for any of us. When you leave the room, you wonder if she or he will live until you return. I wondered to myself, "who will be there at 2 in the morning if he wakes up?"

Nurses and technicians are at the side of our loved ones every step of the way. They make sure that patience doesn't give up and pulls them over the line and back into life. After my visit, I realized just how undervalued nurses and technicians are, and how incredibly amazing these people are. When patience has no family, and friends are not able to visit as much as they would like, the nurses and technicians fill that role. They go beyond the call of duty and make the most difficult time in our lives not only bearable, but hopeful and, at times, even enjoyable.

The world needs more nurses and medical technicians. As relatives and friends of a patience, we need to remember this. As a nurse, medical technician or to those who are considering becoming one, you need to know you are valued and appreciated. We may not say it as often as we should, we may not even say it, but you are valued and highly appreciated for all that you do for our loved ones.

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