Often people ask me..."Do you like your job? Is it exciting being a nurse? What's it like?" and so on and so on...My response varies, but typically its the same short answer, "Yes I like being a nurse." I don't usually elaborate, but I'm going to share more detail with you all. Here's my sincere, heartfelt answer.
In my 5 years as a nurse, and 5 years prior to that as a Certified Nurses Aide, I have worked a variety of areas in nursing. I've been there to see new little ones enter this world, and been there as people took their last breaths. I've wiped big butts and little butts, given shots, taught mother's how to breastfeed, given baths to babies for their first time and helped bath the elderly. I've been a shoulder to cry on when people needed to vent, and been there to share a smile or laugh when they needed it. I've got to hear stories of "the old days", and stories of my patients' troubles. I've learned from my patients, and they've learned from me.
I've been there in crisis situations with my heart pounding, yet kept a calm face. I've been yelled at by doctors and patients. I've been called every name in the book. I've skipped meals to make sure patients had their meds or a warm blanket. I've missed countless holidays, birthdays, and even our first anniversary. I wasn't there for my son's first Christmas, first words, or his first steps. I was, and still am, dedicated to my job.
I love that I can be there for all sorts of events in people's lives, whether it good or bad, I'm there. I love being a shoulder for support, an ear for listening, and a source of information when needed. I am so thankful for having heard all the stories from the elderly I deal with in our community and those whom I have helped in the past who are no longer with us. I really feel like we are losing a big part of our history as the older generation that experienced the depression, and WW2 are passing away. I love that I have had the opportunity to hear the stories of the young and old patients I have cared for in the years. My most rewarding experiences have been from being a nurse. Nothing warms your heart more than having a patient recognize you in the store or at a restaurant, and thank you for being there at their time of need.
I am blessed that I have, and have had, the opportunity to see people at their best and their worst day in and day out. It's not always pretty, but it's what I signed on for when I became a nurse. It's often a thankless job, yet I wouldn't trade it for the world!