This I Believe
When I was little girl I knew what I wanted to be. I’ve always known what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a nurse. To save lives, heal the wounded, and help the down trodden. This noble Florence Nightingale image played over and over in my mind. I truly began my “career as a nurse” the first time my mom finally gave in and let me have an ace bandage. Once in nursing school I began to see the history of nursing; the sometimes thankless and gritty side of nursing, the part of nursing that should scare off any sane person. Still here I am pushing through it. There have been a few times that I must admit I thought that I should lay down the stethoscope. But my husband and boys remind me that anything worth doing is worth the struggle. My very first clinical experience was exactly that, a struggle. I went about it with high hopes and my Nightingale vision. I sat down for the first time with a chart. I open it and began reading my clients history. As I got further into the chart fear sat in. My first clinical experience was going to be with a client who was verbally abusive, at times combative, and mostly unresponsive! I went home to my husband with my Nightingale image reluctantly trudging behind me. What had always been this shiny heroic image was far behind me. The next day I decided to share my fears with my peers and professor. I felt a little better knowing that I was not the only person scared out of their wits. The day began with me timidly trying to feed my client. That wasn’t exactly image worthy. Next a very kind member of the staff helped me toilet my client. That was forgettable. I was never so glad to see a day end as I was to see that one end. That night while trying to create a care map for my client I was stumped. The following morning my professor said something that really opened the door for me. He told us that the assignment was about learning to be human. I rethought my strategy, I thought more about trying to get my client to smile and enjoy the day. I spent the day talking, just talking with him and it made a world of difference. I felt sky high when I heard him laugh for the first time. I couldn’t believe the change that I saw in my client. And then and there I finally realized that the image in my mind was reborn, but not in the purpose to heal all but to make a difference in someone’s life even if it’s one smile at a time.
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