One cancer survivor told me about the chemo nurses who became her snack and lunch buddies during her treatment and who she still goes to say hello to each time she visits the hospital for follow-up appointments.
"Chemo nurses are your lifeline, your daily companion, they make your days comfortable with a smile after sitting hooked up to a machine for 6-8 hours," she said. And even though she didn't miss those chemo appointments, "it was sad to say good-bye" to one nurse in particular who became her friend.
And then there was my aunt, who told me about the nurse who massaged my grandmother's hands for an hour as she lay dying. It was a story I hadn't heard until then. When the nurse finished, my grandmother opened her eyes and thanked her.
"The nurse bent down and kissed her on the forehead with such reverence and respect," my aunt said.
Last time I wrote about a topic like this one, I got a lot of positive feedback, but some readers chided me for emphasizing nurses' "soft skills."
"As a professional nurse...it would be nice to be recognized for the training and skills that we bring to health care and not just the 'warm fuzzies,'" one reader said.