Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why Nursing?

For the past 2 years I've devoted my life to being a student with the ultimate goal of getting into the RN program and becoming a nurse. To have accomplished my goal of entering the program was a huge relief to me because my grades depended on it. Now that I'm in the program and have completed my first week, I have felt exhaustion that I haven't experienced in a long time. To say I am overwhelmed is a gross understatement!

In one of my courses, we were assigned the task of writing down our reasons for wanting to become a nurse. As I pondered on what to say, I was discouraged at the thought that I may have forgotten why I choose this profession in the first place. I soon realized that I hadn’t forgotten, I just thought my reasons were silly and not reasonable enough to choose such a demanding profession. Why? Why would I decide to put myself through such a grueling education?

This is why.

Although I have been a very healthy person all my life, and haven't spent much time in the hospital, my experiences giving birth to four children was enough for me to want to make a difference in other peoples lives. And now that I'm in school and only a week into the program, I have confirmed, without a doubt, that this is where I am meant to be.

With my first 2 pregnancies, I had labor and delivery nurses that I felt, even at the time but more so now, were not meeting my needs and who treated me like a room number and not a person or a patient. My thoughts and feelings and concerns about giving birth were squashed, and therefore I didn't feel confident enough to ask for the things I needed, or even ask questions that I thought were silly. With Shelby my admitting nurse negated the pain I felt with each contraction I experienced, and since pain is subjective to the patient, a professional should never make them feel as though they are a baby for feeling it. That's how I felt, and that's why I didn't speak up when my epidural failed to relieve my pain, resulting in a physically and emotionally painful experience. (24 hours to be exact).

I felt similarly when I was in labor with Corban. Although the pain was not an issue that time (because my doctor went with a different option for pain relief), I felt as though I wasn't being heard when I insisted that my baby was coming, especially after only dilating to a 4 the last time the nurse checked me 30 minutes earlier. Instead of setting my mind at ease by doing another check, she made me feel like I didn't know what I was talking about, and that I was inconveniencing her. After I insisted that she check me, she did so and not-so-calmly told me that I was dilated to a 10 and hastily ran out the door to call the doctor. My baby was, in fact, coming and without me speaking up I would have given birth in a hospital by myself.

In contrast, my deliveries with Sabrina and Colby were very different than the previous two. My nurses held my hand, patted my arm, asked how I was doing with the pain, asked what they could do to make my stay more comfortable...and this made all the difference in the world. I felt a sense of ease and safety from my caregivers and the staff, which in turn, resulted in a more positive experience for me. I was amazed at how differently I was treated and cared for.

That was the moment when I knew that I wanted to be a nurse.  I can't say that I will change anyones life dramatically by being a nurse, but even if I merely care for someone in a manner in which they expect to be cared for, I have been successful.

1 comment:

Ames said...

You have been busy! I've noticed the lack of comments and have thought about how busy you must be with school and life. I think your reasons are amazing, and how great to know, to have it verified again that you are doing something you are meant to do. You'll be a great nurse!