From the eyes of an outsider, nursing seems like a taxing tread full of patients in denial of their own sickness and cold hollow hallways. But for me, nursing is a beautiful journey in the making that I intend to tread on. Some say that the shifting schedules are harsh to the body, and the workload is quite a bit stressful to the mind, but in the way I see it, nothing beats that rewarding feeling when you know there is someone out there in dire need of care and understanding that you helped the best possible way you can.
I have been doing volunteer works in the health care field apart from the regular work I did after college to gain more experience. School did teach me the basics, but experience honed my skills, enhanced my knowledge and glorified my optimistic attitude when it came to being a member of the health care team. Once I become a fully pledged nurse, it is my duty to teach my patients how to keep healthy mind and body, that life itself is bigger than sickness, suffering, death and aging, that only they have the power to make their life worth living.
Since nursing is a combination of skills, knowledge and attitude, a bachelor preparation is necessary to complete one’s understanding in the nursing profession. Further education gives one the set of rules to apply, the necessary information to learn and a whole strings of updates, which you are required to know if you desire to be an excellent nurse in the future. The fundamentals nursing schools have taught five years ago are not necessarily the same now. Some parts have been modified, some are retained. Some are added, and some are retracted. One thing is for sure, in order for to become a successful nurse, one must not stop learning. I am a certified phlebotomist with three years of working experience to boot. And yet, I desire to extend my education, this time in the field of nursing. Education is a lifelong process. One’s career does not end when one becomes a nurse. In fact, it starts from there.
A nurse gets to share his/her knowledge and skills with patients in all walks of life. It is anticipated that the clinical setting of nursing profession involves much interaction with human beings, either with one’s fellows in the health care team or with patients and watchers. To be successful and, at the same time, equally satisfied doing the job, being a nurse entails a number of qualities that I firmly believe I have such as:
- Excellent communication skills since you get to communicate not just with patients but with their families as well. Being a nurse involves much explanation and educating to do.
- Stability of emotions in moments of extreme pressure and traumatic events like death of a patient.
- Since the job requires working with doctors, fellow nurses and other members of the health care team, it is a prerequisite to possess great interpersonal skills. And while it is perfectly acceptable if one can manage to work all by oneself (like I do), it requires a greater effort if you can manage to blend perfectly with others.
- Endurance and flexibility are a must, too. Endurance is essential, because one has to lift everything that is heavy - equipment or even patients; and flexibility is necessary due to the ever-changing shifts and schedules.
These qualities were not achieved by me overnight. It took three years of exposure as a phlebotomist in the health care division before these qualities mentioned above came in full blown. It was not easy, because humans have limitations and weaknesses, too. But it certainly helped if you have empathy from the very beginning - the mother of all qualities in my opinion. I have this running in my veins, and I am apt to become a great nurse someday.
Though patients differ in personality and conditions, their needs are universal. In my perspective, compassion and respect without expecting anything in return is the highest form of addressing their needs. In this world of online social networking craze, one must not forget to respect patients, their families and their privacy. We will always be thankful that technology advances forward, but it does not change the fact that HIPAA laws remain constant. The best thing we can do as nurses is to preserve the dignity of our patients even in the light of dying and suffering.
Apart from strengthening patients’ confidentiality, we can bring health care to areas that have lack of access to such. A patient is not just referring to an individual; it can also be a family or a community. Hospitals and clinics are not the only place on Earth where nurses can provide holistic care. Present and future nurses like me can have the option to explore the world and offer our skills, knowledge and attitude to communities and families with an existing or anticipated health need, may it be lack of education or a present debilitating condition.
Without a doubt, the world needs a cornucopia of highly spirited and respectful nurses. Nurses have the power to change the world and the way people perceive their lives. And I would like to be part of a team that has the power to change lives for the better.
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