UNDER THE CAP…I dedicate this blog to my HCA work family.

I am a Registered Nurse. Throughout my career, I have been asked how I made this decision and why. The answer was simple for me, I wanted to care for people. Sounds cliche I know, but that is the truth, plain and simple. When I was a child, I cared for my dolls and stuffed animals as if they were real. They all had names and birthdays and provided me a little family of my own at a very young age. I would play for hours feeding, bathing, nurturing and of course caring for their illnesses. I had a doll named Marybelle who came complete with crutches, casts, Measles and Chicken Pox stickers and enough gauze to treat any possible injury she may encounter. As I got a little older, I would play outside and drag home any small animal I found in any kind of distress. My mom, who was always there, would help me nurse these little creatures, even though sometimes they were already dead. I know this sounds bizarre, but it is a fact. I think I got this quality from my mom, who until she died seven years ago, was constantly caring for someone else.


Now first I’m sure you are asking “what cap is she referring to?” In the years past, when you went to Nursing School, your rite of passage was earning your cap. Each Nursing School had their own distinct cap design and after you graduated your cap defined you as a graduate of that Nursing program. It was an honor back then to wear the cap and pin of your school, and you wore it with great pride. This, of course, accompanied the white uniforms of that time and again, it was prestigious to don that crisp white uniform, freshly polished white Nursing shoes and the cap and pin of your school. Now I know I’m showing my age, but I am proud to be a descendant of these times, because along with that look came great respect from your patients and their families. When you entered a room, they could not get out of your way fast enough. They knew you were there to care for their loved one and they did not want to be in the way or impede your care. If a doctor or nurse walked in, the visitor would immediately rise to their feet and excuse themselves. Now you may think this is wrong today, but in those days it was a gesture of respect. I believe the way we carried ourselves back then also commanded respect. I remember a patient told me that when I entered his room everyday, he felt I looked like an angel and was there to make him better. I’ll never forget him or how he made me feel. I think I got more from him than he got from me.
Things are very different today. There are no caps, scrubs are the uniform, and freshly polished shoes would be from the dinosaur age.

Today, nurses wear scrubs and the most comfortable shoes they can find. They work long shifts, days, nights, holidays, special events and trudge their way through bad weather. All of this to care for your loved ones, mother, father, grandparents, sibling, or friend, whoever needs them. They leave their family behind to help in crisis situations like the one we are experiencing. They, along with first responders, doctors, pharmacists, lab workers, clerks, nursing assistants, and everyone that makes the Healthcare systems run, heed the call.

To be a nurse is to be everything to everybody. As a nurse you provide comfort, physical, emotional, and sometimes spiritual. You serve as a teacher, preacher, counselor, friend, substitute family member, along with nutritionist, mechanic, secretary, housekeeper, security and on and on. You have the ability to affect this patients entire experience. That is a lot to carry some days.


So you ask, how do they balance this load and how can they be everything to everybody? You must accomplish certain tasks each shift, you must document everything you do, you must be accountable and keep your patients safe and you must be your patients advocate. Wow that is a lot of responsibility. Yes, it is, but you were led to this profession for a reason. I’m sure it wasn’t the great hours, easy money or perfect working conditions. What I am sure of is it was for the patients and the ability to help them when they needed it the most.

In the current climate, healthcare professionals are putting themselves at risk merely by going to work everyday, but they are going. They are wearing masks, face shields, gowns, gloves and yes, even trash bags to give someone else’s family a chance. They are working extra shifts and sleeping onsite. They are leaving their family at home to care for others and some are even giving the ultimate sacrifice, their life.

Everyone is affected by the “monster” and everyone will come out different on the other side. People will need to go out to eat, to a movie, take vacation or travel. Economy will get better because we will be excited again and with that excitement will come relief. I believe we will be better people when this is over, a softer, kinder, more tolerant nation. Sometimes when fire scorches the land and only blackness remains, it seems bleak, then the tiniest sprout emerges and we become hopeful again that beauty will return. I believe we will win this war if we keep these things in the forefront, Faith, Hope, and Love. We have faith that this is bigger than us and if you pray, I suggest you pray a lot. I Hope that we will be stronger when this is over. Love shown to each other, to perfect strangers, to other countries will help us prevail. We are stronger than the “monster”.

Please, as you walk the maze of uncertainty, think of your healthcare team, your military, your patients in nursing homes and hospitals, your neighbors and your friends, Stay at home so someday they will be able to go home too.


If you are a nurse, that is special, and what comes from the heart is what is under the cap.

13 thoughts on “UNDER THE CAP…I dedicate this blog to my HCA work family.”

  1. How beautiful. It mirrors much of my experience as a nurse as well. In my early teen’s I became a major caregiver for my grandmother after she had suffered many strokes. She had made my grandfather promise never to place her in a nursing home, And he didn’t. So for five years she was cared for at home even when she was in a totally unresponsive state for several years. Amazing that after all that, I still wanted to be a nurse. And you are right. You thought you had finally arrived when you were ” capped.” I cherished that cap for many years and finally disposed of my last “yellowed” cap when we moved the last time.
    Thanks for expressing so beautifully the feelings of years gone by.

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  2. You are a friend that I continue to learn from. Thank you for your insight and sharing it with us to give us better understanding of the medical field during this crisis. This, too, shall pass, and we all will be stronger for the good God works out of it. Love you, Carolyn.

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  3. Is that you in the photograph? This post and all you’ve written is so rich with care and respect for human beings and this profession. Thankyou for being that kind of human being. I cant imagine this world right now, without people like you .

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    1. You are so sweet. I’ve always talked about writing a book, but when my daughter died, it became more of a goal. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get going, it seemed too big an aspiration. After I lost my sweet husband, I sat in my loneliness and taught myself how to blog. It’s simple, but seems to be helping others and that helps me. Yes that is my pic, much younger lol.

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      1. You are lovely, inside out. Apologies for late reply, and I trust you are well and that things are fine where you live. Cant imagine what it’s like, coping with loss of your loved one. You sound so brave and loving, wish you were close by … social distancing and all, I’d have asked for a hug. Am valuing people like never before. Coming across your blog is a treasure am not taking for granted.
        I wonder what your day is like..
        Mine… ohhhhhhh its …😅 full of action, a houseful here; but recently…. is calmer. Am grateful.
        Wishing you the best of days, and that you enjoy moments like never before🥰. God makes all things turn around. You must be such a Princess for Him,
        It’s my joy to think if not in this life, we will meet up with Him. Will you know me? I’m this 58 yr old brownie Mophead, (yes we got our kids later than our contemporaries, they’re keeping us younger than we try not to be hehe. There are advantages of staying older , wiser, …. but God works our stories in ways that suit our lives the best I guess. Jeff my husband and I are both artists. Our first kid was born after 7 years. I was ill 3 years. Then God sent in 2 wonder babies who adopted us. That’s our story. Itsbeen a beautiful riot. Blest all the way. Tough in its edges but the heart of God is so soft. Every day is a walk of faith. Blindness of our youngest has broken open the walls of an otherwise very private family.
        I’ve chatted on again.
        Much love,

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      2. And I would say the same about you. I believe people come into our life for a reason. I don’t believe we had our conversation by accident. I’m alone now, but I have two surviving daughters close by. I also have 4 grandchildren and two of those I see almost everyday. My daughter that died had a son that was just turning 2 when she passed. He is amazing and was close but moved to Florida in July. That is hard, but if he is happy it will be ok. He was supposed to come for Spring Break when all of this hit so that was really tough. My youngest daughter has a 15 year old that was 9 when they got married. Being home alone during this has been a challenge. I’m a people person, but I have this wonderful dog that keeps me company. Now you probably think I’m going on 😂 but this is helpful now I think. Hope you and your family stay safe.

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      3. You … all, together sound beautiful. I’ve no better word. Yes, no accidents with Him around. Oh you have a dog, and those are Angels I know! I guessed you were a people person🙂, like my sis who’s a doc in rural india, hours from here. Lives alone but has more friends than I ever will. She’s hating this lockdown cuz she visits us least once a month.
        Oh no no, I’d not think you’re chatting on. It’s me that goes on, I LOVE this talking to you. Just worried what youd think …
        Do write whenever you have the urge to, that’s a request. I’m a loner, love people but life’s been so hectic, challenges, illness. Not socially welcoming conditions. Yet, Gods kept our humor going. So, it’s all been worth it, every ache.
        Am so inspired by your smile that’s there between words, your sunshine.
        Thankyou for replying
        Means a lot to me,
        🌻

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  4. So privileged I was taught by you and even more so that you were my nurse, there holding my hand the night Tate was born when they came to tell me he was sick. I know I seemed out of it but the peace I felt there with God in that room and you holding my hand was indescribable. I knew he would be ok. I’m so very thankful to you !!!

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