On being a nurse

I originally decided to go to nursing school because it fit my criteria (non-traditional, helping kind of job), the school was short, and I could make decent money out the other end. It’s become a thing now though. The school is interesting, and I am finding out lots about myself along the way.

I knew I wanted to help people. I had thought that I wanted to be a teacher or a lawyer or a psychologist. I decided against teacher half way through my English BA/MA because I realized that I don’t like talking in front of large groups of people. I decided against law school when I bought a book on the entrance exam and took a look at the all the logic problems in it. I have never been good at those. (Sally is 2″ shorter than John. Mike has brown hair. Julie is 5″3″. What color car does Megan drive?) I know myself well enough to know that I would get too involved in people’s problems if I became a psychologist. I always want to help fix things and that’s not really a psychologist’s job. They are there to listen and guide you into fixing it for yourself. I’m much too much of an advice giver. So, that didn’t leave much.

I needed to be in school because we needed the stipend to pay for the kids’ tuition, we had signed a contract. I like school. I wanted to stay in school as well. Half my family is in the medical field, many of them nurses. I had just never seriously considered it before. I looked at the school and the timing fit what I had left of the GI Bill (almost), and I’d be able to get a job at the end of it in my chosen field. Little did I know that I would have no idea what my chosen field was!  There are so very many options in nursing and I have no idea which I want to explore. I know a few that I definitely don’t want to do, but that still leaves an ocean of choices.

I have found that I really enjoy it though. I loved doing maternal/fetal nursing – helping babies into the world. Psychiatric nursing was interesting, too. I will go back to school while I’m working and get my BSN and I may go on to get a graduate degree. I could become a Certified Nurse Midwife. I could become a Nurse Anesthetist. I could become a Nurse Practitioner of some kind. There are chances for advancement and all sorts of things to do. Not to mention, it really is the most direct way to help people that I can think of.

I wanted to help people and this is it. You are helping people when they are at their worst to get back to a place of health and well being. It’s kind of amazing. A nurse’s focus is on the patient as opposed to the disease. We are the advocates for the patient when they feel they are not being heard or when they need something that they aren’t getting. We are the educators. We are the ones who give comfort. We are the last line of defense against medication errors in hospitals and the first line of defense against infection (HANDWASHING!!!).

I had no idea what I was getting into when I started school. I have no medical background and had an erroneous understanding of what nurses do. But this has turned out to be my place. I get this. It like this. I might even be good at this someday. I am in awe of the people who do this every day and I’m hoping to get to be one of them soon. I mean, how  cool is it to be able to help someone go from sick to well? Or to help a woman bring her baby into the world? To ease someone’s mind and give them information they need to help themselves or a loved one. I am amazed that I may get to do this.

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4 Responses to On being a nurse

  1. polianthus says:

    congratulations – with the situation in health care you will never be out of a job and as a nurse practitioner you will be able to make many decisions yourself, there are so many paths open to you, wonderful post – !

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