Nursing is not only a profession; it is a way of life. A professor once asked a question to my introductory nursing course and it was “when did you realize you were a nurse?” Many students said that they were very young when they realized it. Some said they knew they were a nurse when they had to take care of a loved one; some said a tragic event in their life made them realize it; and some said they were born caring for others.
Nursing has a critical educational aspect which I am currently pursuing, but I believe that another enormous aspect of nursing is something people have from the start. Every person, in one way or another, has a nurse within them. Mothers and fathers are nurses who care for their children, their families, and other loved ones. Teachers are nurses who care about the future of the children or adults that they teach. Anyone who cares about themselves and others is a nurse in some form or another.
When a nurse is at work and a patient codes, he or she knows exactly what to do. It’s the nurse’s duty to respond to that emergency and hopefully the response creates a positive outcome. When that nurse steps off the floor at the end of the shift, his or her duties do not stop. When help is needed, caring people such as nurses and good Samaritans will help and do whatever is needed in that certain situation. Many people, such as those who stop to help at car accidents, work extremely hard to help the emergency responders achieve their goal; people do CPR for hours, they may hold a neck still for hours, they may be emotional support for the mother who has a child trapped in a mangled car. During situations like this, the nurse comes out in individuals. People do what is right in emergency situations.
At the end of the work day, some professionals lock up the office and forget about work. How can a nurse forget about the health and wellbeing of others? Nursing truly is a way of life. It’s a habit that is incorporated into the lives of many, whether educated in the profession or just as a “natural nurse”.
I have seen my inner nurse a few times in myself. Just recently I responded to an emergency situation. A neighbor of mine required CPR this summer and many of his family members were around. I did what I had to do, I put everything aside (including the fact that I knew this man well), and I did what I needed to do. Unfortunately his heart was not the problem, it was an aneurism in his brain that had burst. CPR kept him alive but the damage was occurring. The man passed away two days later.
If you have not yet found your inner nurse, it is yet to come. It may come with an accidental situation or with motherhood, or a random event that makes you recognize it. Once you see it, you’ll see how easily incorporated it was into your everyday way of living; because nursing truly is a way of life.