I have been a nurse for almost three years and it has been the wildest three years of my life. I thought nursing school was rough and that it could only get easier after that, boy was I SO wrong.
To be honest there is a large percentage of the time I'm wondering what the heck am I doing with my life? What is so great about nursing? You generally work crazy long days, getting desperate calls to come in on the days you are off. You are required to work weekends and holidays so even though you may only work 3 days a week (which is a joke) a lot of the time it's opposite of the people you love so you really have to miss out on a lot of things. Usually you feel understaffed, running around all day going from one room where a patient is starting to complain of chest pain, another patient has just pooped all over themselves and the floor, another room where your dementia patient with a hip fracture is trying to crawl out of bed, and then to the next room where you are getting griped out for making someone wait a little longer to be discharged from the hospital.
I had never had so many people mad at me before I became a nurse. People get vicous. I am generally a timid person and in the past three years I've had to tell family members yelling at each other to leave the hospital, I've had to call security on people, and I've had to file a police report. My curly head has been cussed out a lot.
I could go on and on and on about all the things that really just suck about being a nurse, but still I'm thankful to be in this profession. I have been pushed in ways and in situations I never thought I would be capable of handling. I have grown in confidence in the knowledge that I have compared to when this all started, all I really thought I would be doing was obeying doctor's orders and passing out medicines, ha! But even with almost three years behind me I still feel very much that I am a new, baby nurse.
What makes nursing such a great profession to be a part of is not just the fact that you are helping people to literally live to the next day, next week, next year (that is so daunting and I try not to think about it in too much depth) it truly is the group of people I get to work with everyday. There is no other relationship like the kind you build with your nursing teammates. Together, you experience things you will never experience with anyone else and go through things no one else can really understand. Nursing is the definition of teamwork.
I love that we have grown so much together, we can just see the other person walking across the hall and understand what they need. We are able to anticipate each other's thoughts and actions and in that way come alongside and help each other. You understand when your team is starting to sink and you have to be the strong one to pull them through, and withought question they are there to do the same for you. Not everyone would rush to a floor covered in poop to help you clean it up without even hesitating (sorry to talk so much about poop, but it is the reality of nursing). Not everyone would be willing to stay two hours late at their job to help you finish the mounds of charting you still have to do. Not everyone would be willing to go in and talk to an angry family member for you when you are emotionally exhausted. Not everyone will sit and cry with you when you've literally held someone's life in your hands.
I feel blessed to be a nurse because I do get to serve people that are experiencing some of the hardest times in their lives, that are lonely and don't have anyone to come visit them, that are confused, that are angry about their situation, that are finally making progress after a lot of fighting. I also feel very blessed to get to serve with some of the best people I've ever met and this job would be nothing if we weren't down in the trenches together. I would be foolish not to mention that it's not just nursing, but also the therapists, lab personnel, case management, nutrition, radiologists, and respiratory therapists that make the team as well. Yes doctors too, but they get enough of the credit! Just kidding. Maybe.
So thank you to my nursing teammates for being the family I never knew I needed and the family I'm not sure how I could live without! I appreciate and truly love you more than I could ever put into words!