Like many other future nurses, I have chosen this career with the hope of helping people. In being a nurse, I will be able to provide care and compassion that cannot be provided by a doctor who has patients to see on every floor of a hospital. Nursing is the most intimate profession I can think of and I look forward to, but also dread the seriousness of the commitment I make by taking on such a dutiful job.
I will be the person to comfort a grieving mother after the loss of her child. I will be the person to explain to a young child what’s happening to mommy. I will be the person to share congratulations with parents-to-be who just found out they’re expecting. I will be the person to offer hugs to the woman coming in for chemotherapy. I will be the person who comforts a toddler before, during and after I give him a vaccine. I will be the person who tenderly cleans and wraps the wounds of sore bodies. I will be the person to change the diaper of a grown man who cannot care for himself. I will be the person to ask a lonely, elderly woman how she’s doing.
I will be the person that encourages a baby to take his first breath after entering the world head-first and red-faced. I will be the person that high-fives the little boy before he goes to surgery and the person that updates his anxious family. I will be the person that cheers when the bedridden patient takes their first step in years. I will be an advocate for my patients; I will be their biggest supporter and their #1 fan.
But I will probably also be the person whose name goes unknown or who is yelled at impatiently from across the hospital floor. I will be *just* a nurse whose 4+ years of college and hundreds of hours of studying and clinical experiences still leaves me unqualified to provide care in the eyes of some patients. I will be the person who angers the elderly man by making him take all those pills and having to constantly poke and prod him with needles. I will be that mean lady that makes the post-surgical woman get up and use her legs.
I will be the person that teaches the patients about eating better and exercising and giving up smoking and drinking. I will be the person who has to have difficult conversations with patients about bodily functions and death and sex and everything in-between. I will be the person who is likely soon forgotten once the patient is home and well again. I will be the person that goes unnoticed to most, but that’s okay.
My job will include more than providing medical care. It will consist of providing love and comfort, answering the tough questions, and sticking around through the even tougher times. I don't want recognition or thanks. I have no desire to be famous or have any attention on me.
I don’t want to be the person that makes a single grandiose difference in the world; I want to be the person that makes a million seemingly insignificant differences in the world.