*Reading Time: 5 minutes*
“I don’t know how you do it? I mean you wipe people’s butts? 12 hour shifts? And doesn’t the hospital have all kinds of germs and stuff? Oh, but they pay nurses well so…” Many times that’s what I hear after tell someone I am a nurse. Despite the popular belief, nursing is so much more than that! Last year I talked about just some of the other realities of nursing HERE. This year I am reflecting even more and realizing how nursing changed my life, bettered my life even.
I have sacrificed sleep, food, and bathroom breaks to take care of patients as they fight for their life. The temptation would be to say that it’s a job and “Well nurses make money, right?” Well my thoughts are that you never put a price tag on doing compressions on the chest of someone’s heart which is no longer beating. There is not a price tag that you can place on holding the hand of a loved one who has to make the decision whether or not to stop life support on the person they felt would never die. There certainly isn’t a price tag to be able to watch a former patient whose odds of survival were slim to none, walk through the unit doors and thank you for your care. It is priceless.
We are taught a great deal of information in nursing school, an overwhelming amount at times. Its all in preparation to take the best care of our patients. “When will this semester end?!” I had this thought so many times during nursing school as my brain was being crammed with information day after day. As I look back, I am so grateful for the “real” nursing stories from professors and other nurses. You are taught the books in school, but it is the emotional and relational side of nursing that you learn for a lifetime.
This marks about two years that I have been a nurse (yes only two!)and in those two years I have seen and experienced things that I will be forever grateful for. Lessons I am able to take from the bedside and apply to my very life. If there is anything I have learned in my time, its that life is precious, valuable, and fleeting. You never truly know your last day, the last time you will be able to express your gratitude and love to someone important in your life. You realize you may never have the opportunity to conquer fears, dreams, and mountains unless you start today because tomorrow is not promised, not even the next minute is promised. You have to live the life that YOU have been given.
There are so many professions one could choose as a career path, and I so confident I chose the right one. Happy Nurse’s Week! (I wish it were a month, but hey 😉 )
Has nursing/nurses changed your life in someway?
Living life on purpose,
Be sure to share with friends, family, and all the nurses in your life!