This I Believe

Heather - Connersville, Indiana
Entered on October 17, 2006

I believe that if we open ourselves to the lessons that life has to offer, our beliefs evolve throughout a lifetime. I believe that in the world that I once saw as black and white, humanity is found in shades of gray. My beliefs have evolved more rapidly over the past few years as a nursing student than at any other time in my life. Ironically, some of the tasks that I dreaded most have left the deepest impression.

I believe as a society, we like to focus our energies on what we can fix. As a nursing student, I have learned that we cannot always “fix” people. Sometimes the best we can do is ease pain and preserve dignity as they transition from this life to the next. I believe there is honor in that.

I have learned that if I am able to help my elderly patient with advanced stage Alzheimer’s go back to a world he understood, even for a little while, I have made a difference. Even though he was unable to remember me moments later, I will never forget him. This I believe.

I believe that birth is a miracle no matter how often it happens. I have learned that nurses do more than assign APGAR scores and take vital signs. Being able to encourage a new father to take the hand of his infant daughter (whom he is terrified of breaking) and watching the look of amazement in his eyes as her tiny hand grasps his finger, was a defining moment…in his life and mine. This I believe.

As a nursing student, the biggest part of some of my days has been spent giving elderly ladies bathes and feeding people breakfast. Some might say that those are not tasks meant for someone who has spent hundreds of hours studying and thousands of dollars on tuition. To the contrary, there is no such thing as a menial task if it preserves human dignity and often it is the “little” things that mean the most. This I believe.

I believe that through service to others, I have been given the gifts of pride and humility and these are not often found together. I believe that nursing is a calling and those who answer are blessed for a lifetime. I’m a better human being than I was three years ago and I have nursing to thank for that. This I believe.