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Don't Die on My Shift
By William F. Sayers

In high school, I worked as a nurse's aid in a nursing home, and sometimes I'd come home and say, "Oh my God. You wouldn't believe my crazy patients!" So my brother Kevin, who was in medical school, gave me this book and told me to take care of each patient with love. It was written by a man who had polio and was in an iron lung for 13 years. His only view of the world was from a mirror on the iron lung that allowed him to see behind himself a few feet. Once, when he was in terrible pain—which he describes so well—he asked a nurse for some water. And the nurse kept walking by, saying, "I'm not your nurse."

After reading the book, I knew that those words would never come out of my mouth. Whether I'm on a bus or in a hospital, if anyone needs help, I'm their nurse.

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