“Being a nurse means that you have to know how to be tough and loving.” That’s what Maria, a registered nurse, says. Maria has been working as a registered nurse in Greece and has been caring for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities for more than 25 years. We asked her all about being a nurse, what she thinks the best qualities of a nurse are, and how her relatives have benefited from having a nurse in the family.

Nurses Value The Important Things In Life

Nurses appreciate what they have because they deal with difficult situations every day. “When you work in a hospital you see many women who go through a difficult pregnancy and many couples who struggle with their baby’s health,” she says. “When I was pregnant with my second baby, people would always ask me if it was a boy or a girl and I’d say ‘it’s healthy’ because that’s all I cared about. Seeing so many families struggle really gives you some perspective.”

Nurses Are Tough and Sensitive

They have to deal with people who are at the most difficult time of their lives. It takes a special kind of person to listen to the complaints and demands of the sick and dying and still give comfort and support. “You know that when you’re sick you can be a little cranky,” she jokes. “Nurses know that too. When you are seriously ill or dying, that can scare you, so you may not be able to control your emotions and you might need to blame someone. We recognize and understand that fear, so we don’t judge.”

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Nurses Are Patient

“When you take care of people who are in pain, you have to hear their complaints and be very patient and respectful to be able to understand what they are going through and offer them the support they need.” Maria says that her husband and children often come to her for advice and to complain about their day. “When they’re having a bad day and they need to speak to someone they come to me because they know that I will listen.”

Nurses Are Persistent

Sometimes patients can be tired or in pain and they refuse to take their medicine or get up from their bed. Nurses do not only make sure that their patients will do what they have to do, but they also take the time to explain why doing it is good for them. “You have to be persistent with your patients. If my patients need to get out of bed and exercise, I have to stay there and convince them to do it, even when they yell at me to leave them alone. It really taught me how to say ‘no’ to my children and husband when they’re being difficult,” she laughs.

Nurses Are Confident And Knowledgeable

Having a nurse in your family can save you a trip to the ER if you have a wounded knee. She says that her confidence and bravery comes from her knowledge and years of experience, which allow her to stay calm and evaluate a situation before making a decision. But what happens when it comes to her family? “Of course, I’m scared when my children are hurt,” she admits. “My husband actually broke his leg a couple of years ago doing sports and I was so mad at him for being irresponsible. But I keep calm because panicking doesn’t help. I just do what I know best: I take care of them.”

Nurses Are Good Advisors On Preventative Medicine

Doctors can prescribe drugs, but nurses can tell you what to do to avoid taking drugs down the road. “I don’t think you should rush to take a pill for any pain you’re having. Sometimes drugs can make a condition worse, especially if you don’t know what the problem is, and especially for children.” Nurses also know how to take care of their family to improve the health of their children and spouse in the long run. They can teach proper nutrition, proper hygiene, and even proper posture. They can also recognize early signs of health conditions, which can benefit their family in the future.

Nurses are amazing people and having a nurse in the family can make you feel very fortunate. “If you’re not loving and you don’t care about people, you can’t take care of them,” says Maria. “So, love, patience, and persistence are the most important qualities a nurse can have and these qualities taught me how to be better as a parent and as a partner.”

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