Author, nurse brings words of comfort to UMC nurses following 1 October

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Nurses care for those who are sick and in pain — but who takes care of them? UMC took care of their own Wednesday by holding a special presentation for nurses who worked through the Oct. 1 mass shooting.

UMC staff worked tremendously through 1 October and that horrific event traumatized some of the nurses. 

On Wednesday, a day associated with hearts, UMC brought in help to take care of its nurses.

“Boy, do we desperately need you,” author and nurse LeAnn Thieman told UMC nurses. 

Thieman has been a nurse for more than 30 years.

“I can’t even imagine how horrific was your event on October 1,” she said.

Wednesday she shared her message of hope to a room filled with nurses.

“The whole world was watching you and they see the candle that you lit and you have inspired the whole world with what you do,” she told them.

Nurses like Oscar Chaves, who says he’s still healing.

“Maybe some nurses, we don’t show that, but inside we’re in stress,” he said. 

Chaves says the most difficult part for him, was not only responding to the trauma, but when his 8-year-old son asked him why the tragedy took place.

“I could respond to other people, but not to my son.”

Like Chaves who worked relentlessly following 1 October. Thieman has had her share of trauma. She worked through the Vietnam war.

“Things happened to me there that brought me to my knees,” she said.

But she says it’s in these moments, it’s important to take a breath. 

“Nurses are not that great at taking care of themselves so, we need to remember to take care of self,” said Kathleen Hamel, director of professional practice, UMC. 

And even though nurses go home with aching feet and aching hearts, Thieman says it’s about letting go of the pain.

“Starting today we forgive ourselves and starting today, we forgive somebody else,” she said. “You my friends, you are the heroes and I applaud you. Thank you.”

Thieman authored Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul. After meeting UMC nurses and hearing their stories she says she will be sharing some of them as well.

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