I have a soft spot in my heart for nurses. My mother was a nurse, and I had great nurses while receiving treatment for cancer.
I don’t have a hard time visualizing nurses as servant leaders and transformative leaders. The best example of how a nurse can be a servant leader and a transformational leader occurred outside of the hospital ward. My mom worked for 20 years at a nursing home. Nursing homes are often heartbreaking places. Some clients never receive visits from family members. In some cases, the resident might be the only surviving family member. Sometimes families put grandma in the nursing home and forgot about them.
Holidays are the saddest time for nursing home residents. Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas were happy times in my house. My mother found a way to share that joy. For several years, she invited a certain resident to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with us. This lady dined with us. I believe we gave her a Christmas gift.
I don’t know if the woman lived far away from surviving family members of if she had been warehoused and forgotten. I know she enjoyed those short visits. She got out of the nursing home and spent some time around people of different ages.
I benefitted from those visits. Unlike many younger people, I was never uncomfortable in the presence around sick or older people. Service to the community has always been important to me. I think my mother’s example of servant leadership is a big reason why.