Some time ago, @Humanizar_salud asked the question: “What´s humanize for you?” and I wanted to respond, but it is so much that it didn’t fit me in a tweet.

The first time I heard the word “humanize” I was eight years old. My father had a heart attack and the nurse that took care of him didn´t look at him in the eyes…

– “Dad, why is it so?”.

– “Humanity lacks”.

– “And what can be done?”

– “The change is in your hands”, he said… “Humanize depends on you”.

Life has taken me on many roads and though nursing didn’t seem mine, during the decisive choice, disease came home again, and after taking care of my mother for a year I realized that Nursing was what I wanted to do… TAKE CARE.

My first practices were in a ward of people with terminal diseases. That experiencie taught me that when you can not do more, you should know accompany, relieve, take care of those around them, comfort… and there, I ended up to fall in love with my profession for almost twenty years.

I have been in a country after a horrible civil war, bringing me the backpack loaded with more things than I could give them; I worked nearly ten years in the ICU, where I learnt my profession and the meaning of the word #humaniza.

I believed I would not be able to work elsewhere, but fate took me to be working as personnel of the General Administration of the State, and I realized that was not my place. Four years ago I came back as nurse, with contracts to 75%, shift rotations and changing through thousand services. People still wonders how I could renounce a permanent job by returning to the hospital: I love what I do, it makes me happy… and there where I go, my smile is my flag.

Today, illness is with me. My doctor recommends me calm, but I do not surrender. While my body and my health allow it I will continue working on what I like, showing that patients are not bed numbers nor illnesses; that a hand and an smile heal more than the most expensive antibiotic. And I am sure that together we are turning a flame that will reach farther and farther as the Olympic torch.

Ana Echeverría