Born this Way; What Nursing Means To Me
I came out of the uterus knowing exactly what I was placed on earth to do. I was lucky. So few people are that fortunate. To solidify the deal, my Mom named me after a nurse, so by the time I hit the nursery, I was on the job.
Other babies were busy looking cute and cuddly and drooling, not me. I might have looked like a full term infant, but I was busy assessing Apgar scores. That blonde baby in the corner, is her breathing OK? What about that little bald guy? Is he starting to appear jaundiced?
OK, so I didn't have language skills yet, but I was processing, making plans, assessing, preparing for potential emergencies. I wasn't there to just eat, burp, and sleep. I was a nurse.
By two, my dolls had a miniature stethoscope checking their "lungs" for abnormalities. I couldn't afford to set them up for tea parties; they might be coming down with colds or flu! You laugh, but we have Christmas photos of my toddler self, dressed to the nines in full nursing regalia, "assessing" her doll babies from head to toe. There was no mistaking the grin that was plastered all over my face, either. THIS was one happy little lady!
And so it went...through future nursing classes in high school, and working as an assistant at the hospital during summer breaks. The contentedness I felt when helping and being close to other people never left me. The chance to discuss the human condition, in all its glory and frailties, from the newness of life's beginning to the reverence for its end, I never lost the inner (or outer) grin that I gained from nursing.
Nursing allows you to laugh, curse, and cry with patients, and to become closer to human beings than you believed possible. You form lifelong friendships with people and cultures that you may never have known through geography alone. You cross barriers that seem insurmountable and bridge distances with the touch a of a healing hand. There's nothing like it.
There never will be. For many of us, we were born this way, and my God, were we lucky.