Saturday, September 15, 2018

"Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription." Val Saintsbury

I just spent an entire week in the hospital for diverticulitis.  This hospital stay was not on my calendar, and when it happened, I was sure I would be in and out in a few days, like I was with my emergency appendectomy two years ago. I was wrong. Seven days.

Although I usually write about teachers, I have a week to observe the difficult and demanding work done by nurses, and I was impressed.  Not only do they multitask for 20 or more patients on the floor, they do it with compassion, humor, and caring.

I was at UPMC Passavant Hospital, and my nurses worked 12 hour shifts, but they stayed until all the work was done to insure a smooth transition.  I needed extra attention because of receiving antibiotics through an IV (which had to be changed three times - ouch) The drip took 30 minutes, followed by the loud series of beeps that indicated the process was finished, followed by the sound of feet running down the hallway. To shower, I had to have help to secure a large sticky plastic shield over my IV, which was more work for the nurses. They never complained about my extra needs; in fact,  were wonderful.  Besides the care-giving, they quickly realized I was without any family members.  When I told them my late husband died on my same floor (in the cancer wing), their compassion and conversation helped me to get through each day.  I am so grateful to my nurses for making my stay more than comfortable.  I also told them that I practice gratitude every day, and that I was so grateful for each of them!

I have to get in a few words about teachers. Both my gastroenterologist and one of the Physician's Assistants were former students from North Allegheny, the district where I taught for 35 years.  It is so gratifying as a teacher to see the successes of wonderful young people I knew when they were in tenth grade. North Allegheny sets a very high standard for students, and I am so proud of these two!

This past week, instead of giving compassion and empathy, I was on the receiving end, and for that, I am so grateful.  Those who serve in the medical field deserve our thanks.

Gratitude fills my heart today. 

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom.  GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit  

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!

Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
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