Why Nurses Need @GoogleDoodles: Day 29, Playing With Makeup & A Voice For Vocation

I like to think that nurses everywhere are doing really exciting, creative things. I like to think they are heading community clubs, and starting fashion, and writing blogs that blow other blogs away. But sometimes, when I go looking for them, they’re hard to find. Or they’re work is only really applicable to nurses (this blog included).

I often ask myself why Dr. Oz has a show, and not Nurse Anderson? Don’t know about you, but I want to talk to a nurse far more than a doctor most days.

Wrote to the doodlers about my musings tonight, and about my desire to see nurses shine on every stage in society – simply because I think our voice fits everywhere. But we’ve got to start using it.

Day 29, I guess I can say what I want, eh?


To: proposals@google.com

From: 12hourRN@gmail.com

Subject: Why Nurses Need @GoogleDoodles: Day 29, Playing With Makeup & A Voice For Vocation

May 4, 2014. 10:11PM.

Hey, Doodlers,

          I had some spare seconds to comb through my blog today, and realized I double-counted. That’s right, I must not want to stop this conversation; I ended up a day behind. So, really, today is Day 29 of my quest for a Google Doodle, not 28. Let the record stand corrected, we’ve got just one more day together.

          Today, I thought a bit about my email from last night. Why do I want to see nurses in art? Why do I think they deserve a place on the creative stage – on all stages? I’ve always loved the profession, but I’ve long felt exasperated in my attempts to explain why I think it needs a far larger place in the landscape of media and popular culture. 

          This morning, I had a friend over for breakfast. We got to talking about her work, and my work. She’s a makeup artist, and one of the hardest working entrepreneurs I know. She singlehandedly created a business for herself, and has a solid reputation in the New York fashion scene. She also has a killer heart; her company mission statement is simply, “Use Beauty For Good.” 

          Many times, our conversations have steered towards my desire to help patients look better in the hospital. Some people are stuck in a bed for months, no mirror to look at, no makeup to apply, much less a readily-available toothbrush that isn’t tied to the whims of a busy nurse. I regularly braid my patients’ hair, shave their scruff, and make sure they look, and feel clean – the ones who can feel these things, but often, I wish I could offer them more. 

          I believe in the wisdom of Florence Nightingale – that beauty, freshness and light heal. Patients who look nice are addressed more directly by their doctors, and often tell me they feel human despite their debilitating condition. Once, a patient was so grateful that I braided her hair while she was trapped on the ventilator, that she later gave me her phone number and told me to call her if I ever needed any help – a substitute New York mom. Just because of a braid.

          Anyway, my friend and I got to talking, and we realized that we might be able to join forces and do some good. Why not use the art of makeup – much like the art of music – as therapy for long-term patients needing company, confidence and cheer? Lindsey had the brilliant idea of using patients’ own makeup to start off the consultation and lesson, and I the idea of creating the program around urban teens wanting exposure to two very different careers; nursing and makeup artistry.

          And that’s when I figured out why I want to see nurses in every social capacity in our country – because nursing is literally tied to almost everything. Makeup, Lindsey and I established together (music therapy is research-based, why not makeup?), but what about nutrition? I just created the most delicious meatballs from turkey, sweet potatoes and mushrooms – this is an easy, cost-effective recipe for a patient looking for healthy options. Nurse cooking show material? Yes. Sports are related to nursing – who is the team nurse for the winningest sports team in the country? Movies? Yep, there are nurses on set there, too. 

          In short, I think we’d all be hard-pressed to find a part of life or arena of society not suitable or already occupied by a nurse. But as Lindsey and I planned, and she wanted to jump right in and start our new idea, I took a step back. I told her I don’t want to just throw something together that will maybe help a few people; I want to create a program that will be news-worthy — for the benefit of the patients, the students, and, I’ll be honest, my biggest desire – for nurses. 

          Is that a bad thing?

          I know I didn’t tell you about an innovative nurse in this e-mail, but I think tonight is more of a charge to all my talented nurse-entrepreneurs — be vocal, show your innovation, rock the RN behind your name! Our vocation will forever be seen as a “job” until we call it otherwise. 

          OK, enough for tonight, peace,

          Amanda Anderson, RN

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