Terry Ratner RN, BS, MFA - nurse, writer, educator - click to return home
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Nurses' Corner
Personal Memoir




Nurses Corner

Nursing Narratives

Nursing Narratives is the telling or writing of stories to assist nurses in understanding themselves and their practice. Clinical storytelling, a powerful tool, is a way to process our encounters and emotional reactions to human illness, health and healing in ordinary language. Writing narratives is a way for nurses to share their stories, enhance their self-awareness, and provide a higher quality of nursing care. Writing about personal nursing experiences allows nurses to move easily amidst the uncertainty, ambiguity, and sadness they encounter along the way.

Why I write about loss:

I write to remember. I write to forget. I write about the unspeakable to understand. By telling our stories and listening to each other's stories, we learn what makes us similar and what connects us all.

Why I write about nursing:

I write to honor my patients and to remember the moments we've shared: a hug before surgery, a hand tucked in mine, laughter between the tears, and the journey from illness to death's door. As I tell their stories, I can't help but reveal mine as well.

Where I practice nursing:

I work as a registered nurse and health educator at Banner Good Samaritan's Grace Middlebrook Family Learning Center, a consumer health-based library. It's a place for family members and patients to learn about their medical conditions and treatments. All information and services, health education, research, and computer access, are provided free of charge to assist patients and their families during trying times. Many of our visitors are in crisis situations-visiting a loved one who is seriously ill or recovering from a long illness. The FLC is a place of refuge for patients and families.