This I Believe

Janis - Richmond, Indiana
Entered on October 17, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

I am a Junior Baccalaureate Nursing Student and I believe in what nurses have to offer to our communities.

Traditionally, nurses have been given a level of confidence and trust. Historically, the society has had a general opinion that nurses are at the hospital to assist the doctors with their daily routines. Sometimes our society does not realize how important nurses are to the care they receive. The image of nursing has surpassed wiping noses, emptying bed pans, and straightening bed linens.

Even with all of the confidence and trust ensued upon us by the community and physicians, nurses have been undervalued for many years. When I chose to become a nursing student, I thought of all the interesting procedures I could perform and all of the research that I may be involved in. However, nursing has taken on a much more holistic approach to providing care to their patients. I never realized what nurses truly have to offer.

It took getting out into the field to comprehend what, as a nurse, I have to offer to my patients.

With two years of education under my belt, I was given the opportunity to get out into the medical community, provide safe quality care, and encourage positive patient outcomes. I was sure that the goals for my future patients would be to perform as many procedures as possible and educate patients on their current disease. My opinion changed.

When preparing the night before my first clinical experience, I contemplated on the treatment and education I wanted to share with my patient. The next morning I was assigned to a patient that was diagnosed with bladder cancer. After my initial assessment, I asked my patient if she had any questions for me – she asked if I would sit with her. This was not a question that I had been taught to answer and I wouldn’t be able to look it up in one of my books. Shocked and unsure how to respond to her, I decided to sit with my patient and she began to share stories about her life. We talked about the times she was a little girl growing up on a farm, the difficult deliveries she experienced with the birth of her two daughters, and the recent loss of her husband of fifty-six years. It was then I realized she is more than just “my patient.” This woman is a mother, a wife, a sister, and a friend.

At the end of the day my instructor asked me what I had accomplished and I had the chance to reflect on my day. Sure, I provided safe competent care, and yes, I encouraged positive patient outcomes, but most importantly I was a listener, a friend, and a confidant to my patient.

Recently, there has been negative media about the nursing profession; however, take a minute to consider how much is done correctly. It is my responsibility as a future Registered Nurses to share that there is more to nursing than what is heard on the news. Nurses are professional role models and have important roles in the health care our community receives. I am excited to be a future provider of care.