My name is Rachael Lowe, and I spent the summer with the Little Sisters of the Poor at the Jeanne Jugan Residence in the Bronx, NY. With the love and support of all the Sisters and Residents, I passed my state boards in June and began working as a Registered Nurse! Having already spent last summer at the Bronx Home, the transition from being a nurses’ aide to a full-blown nurse went relatively smoothly. I loved having the opportunity to provide direct care for all of the Residents, whether it was passing my morning medications or praying the Rosary for the Residents as I tried to stay awake during the night shift. I especially enjoyed learning more about the Little Sisters’ vow of Hospitality and how they incorporate this into their care of the Residents. Hospitality doesn’t just mean giving the Residents excellent medical care, but also providing for their spiritual well-being and accompanying them as they near the end of their earthly journey. During my time in the Home, I tried to be attentive to ways I could serve the Residents better as a nurse, even if it just meant giving someone a little extra applesauce with their medicine because they enjoyed it.
As Saint Jeanne Jugan said, “It is a great grace God is giving you, for in serving the aged, it is He Himself whom you are serving.” Geriatric nursing may not seem like the most glamorous job when compared to the bells and whistles of a hospital, but I could never dream of serving anyone but the elderly after my time here at the Jeanne Jugan Residence. I am grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities to work alongside Little Sisters, some of who are also excellent nurses, and who taught me so much about caring for the Residents with a joyful and selfless heart.