What happens after you graduate from your nursing program? Are you ever the same person again? These last set of stories before the grand prize winner is announced explain how nursing is a 365 day, 24/7 lifestyle. Enjoy.
“The Cap Never Comes Off” by Candy Hanrahan
From the moment you go before your family and peers in your clean white dress uniform with the old fashioned nurses cap on your head and recite your Nightingale Pledge, you are a nurse. That means 24/7, 365 days a year, for the rest of your life. You go to work all day trying to enrich the lives of your patients, and come home to “what’s this rash”, or “do you think we should have someone look at this (fill in body part here)”. This week for me it has been go to work, drive to my in-laws to care for my cancer stricken mother in law, drive to my sister in laws to feed the fish for my nephew who is in the hospital, come home and kick my shoes off, call my mom to check up on my grandfather who is a dialysis patient, and if I’m lucky that’s it for the night. I do my rounds at work, then do my after hour rounds. I do it out of love. Love for my family, and love for human kind in general. Nurses never get days off. It is a tough profession, but I love it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The scrubs may come off at the end of the day, but the cap stays on.
“Nursing Saved Me” by Sandra Muterspaugh
Too many times we think one story can sum up that special moment in a nursing career. I say ,“no way!”. A 30 yr nursing veteran with most of my time spent in the Emergency Room, I can’t tell you about a single patient and how I saved them. I can only tell you that nursing saved me!!I grew up the day I saw my first child die from a mangled freeway wreck, when I cried with a mother on the phone about her 16 yr old daughter dying in a spring break accident and she was over six hours away. I felt a bittersweet joy in my heart when I was able to sit with a sweet old lady in her last hours and she was reliving how much love and life she had enjoyed. I’ve had special co-workers that taught me some tricks of the trade, and I’ve had some that I found give nurses bad names. It all makes a career-nursing is not a job-when you become a nurse-that’s who you are. It’s not what you walk away from at the end of your shift. It defines your character and how people identify you. Nursing is so much more than one person’s story-It’s a lifetime of living, loving and giving.