Back to articles

Inspired by your positivity and resilience

Mind, Together inspired, 2018

The worst days of our lives can reveal the best in us.

As an ER nurse, when I meet patients the positivity so many of them demonstrate despite their circumstances is my greatest inspiration.

This positivity takes many forms. There are the success stories—the patients who have the strength and determination to make changes for the better, like the one who took my advice and quit smoking. And there are all of those who thank us graciously for their care even though their own struggles are severe. Perhaps the most inspiring patients of all are those facing end-of-life situations, yet still shine with positivity, strong in their faith. They truly move me.

On October 15, 2015 I was driving on Highway 58 toward my sister’s home with my children – ages 8, 6, 4 and almost 2 – when it started to rain. Lightly at first, but it wasn’t long before the sky seemed to open, dumping rain and hail, stopping all traffic on the highway.

Suddenly a flood of muddy water was lifting my SUV, with me and my terrified children inside, spinning us blindly into walls of water, mud and metal. Eventually, the movement stopped, and there we stayed, unharmed but unable to move from the mudbank in which we had landed until help arrived. After we were rescued, it hit me—I could have died with all my kids in the car.

That day the ER was overwhelmed with victims of the same flash flood and mudslide. I was still in shock, but I headed to work anyway.

How could I not? Having seen the positivity and resilience of ER patients over the years, I took a lesson from them and put my distress aside. Treating the other victims, hugging them and hearing their stories from the disaster, I found comfort in their gratitude. And I was thankful for the courage they inspired in me.

You inspire me to do more than nursing. You inspire me to transform lives.

Rachelle Pina, RN

Tehachapi Valley Emergency Department