True love can be measured in actions, not just words. And the support that you give your spouse as they chase their life’s greatest passion is worth its weight in gold. One husband who is an example to us all is Cole George who loves his wife Ashley unconditionally. And here’s how.
She works endless shifts as a nurse and while she takes care of her patients, he takes care of her emotional wellbeing, the house, and their 4 kids. When Cole shared the story on his Facebook page, the support from the online community was enormous and many felt that they could relate to Ashley’s life.
“It wasn’t as much an inspiration as it was a calling,” Cole told Bored Panda about how his wife Ashley got into nursing. Scroll down for the full interview.
We know how tough it is being a nurse, doctor, or other healthcare professional. To see that exhaustion on the job is not an isolated issue, have a read through Bored Panda’s earlier article about how a sister revealed the gritty details of her twin’s life as a nurse.
“She just knew, just like I knew I wanted to be in the Military,” Cole said about his wife’s calling. “She knew where her heart was. That was in nursing, she was originally trained as a pediatric nurse, both her sons were premature and NICU babies. Ashley being able to always use her training and being able to pick up on certain things that a patient does allows her to keeps her training on point and apply them. Every day is an opportunity for her to be better. The other part of her motivation comes from this family (work family as well). We are all so very proud of her and what she does.”
Cole also revealed to us what the biggest challenges of being a nurse’s spouse are. “The biggest challenge for being a spouse of a nurse is probably not much different than that of a first responder or a military spouse. Long days, long nights, sleeping alone, always wondering if they are safe.”
“In the last couple of years, [the question of] nurses’ safety has been on the rise with attacks from a multitude of patients. Patients that have drug problems, psychiatric issues and some that just don’t like being in a hospital setting. For myself, personally, the hardest part is the missed meals, and time with our kids. We both work full time, but opposite shifts. So I try to let her sleep during the day and get all 4 kids out of the house doing activities. Riding dirt bikes and quads, RC Cars, our 10-year-old old daughter is building her own Harley Davidson Motorcycle. So we stay busy.”
“I never want to give up, neither of us would want that. We always push each other. We want to see each other succeed. Is it tough!? Hell yeah! But it isn’t so thought that I’d quit. Or I’d quit her,” Cole exclaimed.
“If we care or love our spouse’s and they love what they do, then it should not matter if they are oil workers, fishermen or first responders. We married them. We should support them. Even if it is something that we may not really care for. It was their career choice. I was not about to let anyone tell me that they were not going to be part of my life because I chose to go into the military,” he talked about his relationship with his wife. “She chose me knowing what I had done, I chose her knowing what show does. It’s what makes her her. I wouldn't change a thing.”
According to Cole, while his wife is at work, he makes sure that the house is clean and that all the chores are done. He feeds their kids and helps them with their homework so that Ashley can focus on her vocation with everything that she has. What’s more, he even prepares food for Ashley to take to work. Right there. That’s real love right there.
Cole also understands the importance of quiet emotional support: he listens to his partner and lets her vent. He even tolerates her wearing ‘the worst’ socks that he’s promised to burn in a ritualistic way.
Exhaustion from overwork is by far the biggest challenge that healthcare professionals face. Unfortunately, it is far from the only problem. For instance, not many people think about it, but nurses face actual threats to their health and safety at work. From pathogens and potential injuries from needles to bullying, harassment, actual physical violence from patients.
Nurses would love to spend more time taking care of their patients, but lots of them lose hours and hours on end when filling out paperwork and entering data into electronic health records. In other words, time that could be spent nursing people is instead spent on bureaucracy. Which is necessary but eats up huge chunks of time.
To learn more about nursing and the challenges that health professionals face daily, Bored Panda reached out to Emily, a nurse who works in an emergency room in Ontario. "Working full-time, you work four 12-hour shifts (two days and two nights). It is a lot of hours, but your body becomes accustomed to the work. The most I have worked in a row is 5 shifts, which is a lot. I know nurses who do 6 or 7 in a row."
"I myself don't feel I could work safely at my best doing that. A lot of nursing floors are very mentally stimulating. You don't really have the option of 'not functioning.' If that happens, people can die," Emily highlighted the responsibility that sits upon the shoulders of health professionals every single day and night.
She continued: "I thrive on stress. When people code, when a trauma [case]comes in, that's when I hit my stride. I function better under pressure. That being said, taking care of yourself outside of work helps you manage your work-life balance so you can go in for your set, or pick up that overtime."
Emily explained that, in her opinion, having more staff in hospitals would help nurses work better. However, she said that what's also important is "more funding for the floors to keep beds open."
"A huge reason why the wait times are so long in emergency rooms is the patients we have in the department already: we don't have anywhere to move them. They're not able to be discharged, so they can't go back to the waiting room. We are 'bed-blocked'. Hospital funding gets cut and the first on the chopping block are beds and staff."
"That being said, in Ontario the crisis beds and the mental health wards have their beds cut down to basically nothing all the time. So, unfortunately, you have people who are placed on a mental health form and cannot leave the hospital because they are a danger to themselves or others, and they can be in the emergency department for days and days because the miniscule number of mental health beds are all occupied."