Three things nursing taught me about life
by Kim Fore RN.
I’ve been a nurse for more than 20 years, helping people as they’ve gone through transitions of life.
Those moments, collectively, have changed me. They’ve changed how I approach life. They’ve changed what I find valuable.
Here are three takeaways from what I’ve learned.
- It’s about what you build, not what you buy. I’ve never heard a single person say at the end of their lifetime: I wish I had bought that Chanel purse, or I wish I had a BMW. Instead, what they regret is not building more memories, not spending more time, not prioritizing what matters over what’s material. I’ve learned what’s important is to be a good person and to have a positive impact on other’s lives. And to never pass up an opportunity to go to Disneyland or take that vacation with family, friends or loved ones.
- Everybody has a story. When I’ve had to say goodbye to a patient who was a 92-year-old grandmother or a patient who was a 100-year-old grandfather, it’s incredible to me to think about what they’ve seen in their lifetimes. She’s watched the evolution of civil rights; he’s felt the pain of war, they’ve both seen the progression of technology. It is a reminder to me that every single person has something to share and something to teach if we remember to listen and remember to take the time.
- You have a chance every hour, every day to impact others. If I have a bad day, I try not to let anyone see it because why plant something negative in others? People gravitate to positivity – not in a fake way, but in an authentic way. Life is going to bring bad things. That’s inevitable. But we have a choice in our response and whether we can take anything positive away from it.
Kim Fore, the director of TMC Hospice, started nursing in New York in 1993. She left for Arizona in 1996 after a winter of having her car routinely buried in 6 feet of snow. After working in a variety of areas – including ER, trauma, med/surg, ICU, home care and peds – she stepped into a leadership role back in 2005. Saying she’s enjoyed the different spin on nursing that it gives us, Fore noted, “I’ve liked to say that as leaders, we are still caring for our patients by ensuring our staff are cared for – I am their advocate.” In her career, Fore also lived and practiced in Virginia and South Florida before coming back to her forever home in Arizona.