May 2, 2018

Gratitude and Thanks: A Tribute to Nurses during Nurses Week

By Samantha Kappalman

“As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

The late Maya Angelou had it right, I will never forget how my nurses made me feel. I had total replacements of both of my hips this past January after decades of daily pain. Just walking from my car to the office was misery. With three children, a husband and a full-time job, my recovery was only one of my many worries. I felt like I was riding a tidal wave threatening to crash over me, but I was committed, through replacing my hips, to ride it smoothly to shore and begin a new life of activity with my family, pain free.

From the moment I arrived at Mission Hospital, I was greeted with kindness and smiling faces from the registration desk to the area I was in before my surgery, where they checked my vital signs and prepared me for the surgery. I was anxious but never concerned, because I could feel how well I was being cared for by my presurgery nurse and the nurse anesthetist.

While the time immediately following my surgery is blurry, I remember my three days in Mission Hospital on the orthopedic floor very well. Without the help of my registered nurse Theresa Grable and my certified nursing assistants Vanessa Ball and Shannon Fox, I would not have healed nearly as well or as quickly. They were always there when I needed them to help me up, move into a better position or with whatever I needed to feel better – even if it was a cup of tea.

Recovery from this type of surgery is fairly quick all things considered. Now, four months later, I’m working out regularly and living with zero pain. The first week, however, was very difficult. Despite how many patients my nurses had or what might have been happening in their own lives, I felt only friendliness and genuine compassionate caring from them. Each time my nurses entered the room, they greeted me with a smile and connected with me on how I was feeling. They anticipated my needs before I even knew I had them. They answered the many questions I asked without blinking an eye and never failed to ask, “Is there anything else I can help you with before I go?”

What was evident from every interaction with my nurses is that they truly care. Nursing isn’t just a job to them. It’s a passion and a part of who they are. For them, it’s just like breathing.

No gift could truly express to these incredible nurses the gratitude I feel for their excellent care, their kindness and their generosity of spirit. Nor would they want such a gift if I had one to give. Instead, in honor of Nurses Week and our #thankanurse campaign, I offer my sincere thanks for what you do every single day to heal the hearts, minds, souls and bodies of patients at Mission Health, and a whole world of thanks for how you helped me to move, eat and most of all, heal.

Want to join me in thanking a nurse that made an impact in your life?

Follow along with @MissionHealthNC on social media to thank a nurse. Learn more about opportunities for nurses at Mission Health, our and the people who have been impacted by their practice at