January 25, 2005

Reflections On Being A Nurse

Shrinkette, a psychiatrist, provides a roundup of the reflections of a number of Nurses on what it takes to survive in the profession. She begins with a list of what it takes to be a nurse compiled by a nursing instructor at Top of My Head:

What is takes to be a nurse:
1. To see people at their worst and know it was part of their job to help them in anyway they could.
2. To be exposed to things that many people could never imagine and continue to do their job and not think twice about their career choice.
3. To hold a crying son/daughter after their mother/father had died and cry with them during their pain.
4. To hold a crying mother/father after their son/daughter had died and cry with them during their pain.
5. To get hit and/or punched by a confused patient while working in the emergency room.
6. To be criticized by patients/family members because they thought they did not do enough for their family member.
7. To always be an advocate for their patients and do what it took to give them the best care and do things in their best interest no matter what others thought.
8. To hold the hand of a dying patient who had no family.
9. To have a vision of what nursing was and where it should be.
10.To evaluate their patients’ needs and try their best to see what resources are available to help them.
11. To help the homeless by volunteering

Then there is this from Tales of An Aspiring Nightengale:

I oftentimes wonder what I was thinking, leaving my cushy desk job and going into a high stress job where I'm on my feet for twelve hours at a time, dealing with sickness, life and death situations, and people who want me to do hundreds of things at once. Then I remember why I became a nurse:To save the life of someone who's potentially having a heart attack.To restore blood in an anemic patient so he can go home to his wife and son.To release the nursing home patient back into her community in better health.To ease the mind of a woman who is worried about her ill father.As a nurse you sacrifice a little of yourself: your time, your energy, your dignity, your lunch, your need to pee. But the end result, your impact on your patients and their lives, makes the job worth while.The end result helps me get up the next morning, report to the unit at seven o' clock, and do it all over again.

Kind of gives us non-nurses a whole new perspective, doesn't it?