This I Believe

Christina - Williamsburg, Indiana
Entered on October 17, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

For a long time I wanted to be a pediatrician. Even in my first year of college I took biology classes towards getting a biology degree with the intention of going to medical school. I had this preconceived idea that a doctor would get to handle more of the patient care and be a vital part of the medical process. It was not until my second year of college that my family convinced me to go into nursing because I would be able to find a job sooner and not spend more time in school.

When I began my nursing classes I still did not really know if this is what I wanted to do as a career. It really bothered me to hear everyone else talk about knowing that they knew they wanted to be a nurse from the time they were kids. As the classes progressed some of my preconceived notions were challenged. I soon realized that nurses have a lot of responsibility and are an important part of taking care of patients. One of the biggest barriers that I had had about being a nurse was that I thought they only took orders from the doctors and really did not have any say into the care of the patient. I also thought that they did not get very much respect from people. I never even thought about all the different areas that nurses worked. I had always thought of them being the hospitals, but I am just amazed now at how diverse this profession is. I have found that as I have taken these classes and started my clinical rotations, a lot of work has to be done and time and family sacrificed in order to become a good nurse. I have gained more respect for the nurses and see all the hard work they put into the everyday care of patients.

Now that I am doing my clinical work, I can see how all the work done in school really shows the benefits during the actual care in a clinical setting. I had never had much experience in a clinical setting and that first day I was scared, but knowing that those patients needed me and that I could actually make a small difference made me keep calm and begin to actually like what I was doing. I would like to spread this newfound knowledge and respect onto other people. Many of them have the same preconceived ideas that I once had. I never imagined that it would be so hard and I even question if my biology classes would have been so hard.

Nurses put so much of themselves into their jobs and receive so little respect. I hope that as bad as the nursing shortage is for the patients that it can shed some light on how much work nurses do and how much more respect should be given to them.