Nurses Week Reflection: I Never Gave Up
I first entered the nursing world 20 years ago. When I think about who I was then, I have trouble believing where I am now. No one in my family was in the medical field. I knew nothing about hospitals, nursing homes or healthcare in general, except what I had seen on TV or read in books. I just knew I wanted to learn everything I could about the human body and help others take care of it.
Passion filled my veins, giving me the push I needed to fight my way through nursing school. It was a long, challenging road, but I never doubted I could do it. Along the way, a few people tried to discourage me. Some even tried to stop me. But, always, just when I needed it, a light would shine through to guide me.
Culture shock is how I describe my birth into healthcare. The real world was so different from what I had imagined. I pictured nurses nurturing each other and doctors providing insight or guidance. We all worked together to meet a common goal - save lives and heal people. Naïve was how people described my innocent hopes and dreams of utopia. I ignored those naysayers and marched on.
At one point, my passion dwindled. Dreams suddenly felt out of reach, silly and immature. I thought I had to grow up. Consequently, I believed that meant I had to give up. I tried. I attempted to conform, but that only lead to more misery. My heart wouldn't stop pumping out passion. My brain couldn't contain its ideas. But I held it all inside, believing it was the right thing to do.
Then one day, the idea of leadership was planted in my head. I first thought I couldn't do it. I rationalized the fear with denying I wanted to do it. Finally, a few people convinced me to try.
My first attempts caused me to stumble. I cowered a few times. I even ran away. But now that I am here, educating and leading other nurses, I know I am right where I belong. Anytime I waiver, I remind myself of what I believe nursing can be. I remember why I became a nurse. And I am thankful I never gave up.
"I have an almost complete disregard of precedent, and a faith in the possibility of something better. It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent. I go for anything new that might improve the past."--Clara Barton
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