Nervously fidgeting with the wad of Kleenex hiddden in my jacket.
The Oncology unit was bustling with doctors and nurses hurtling past , with what I saw as expressions of steely resolve and determination to save a life.
As I stood there, I felt overwhelming pride and giddy anticipation at joining my heroes.
Moments later, the Clinical Nurse Manager, approached, stuck out her hand, and declared, “Welcome to 9-South, I think you’re gonna love it here!”
Thus began my “fantastic journey” into the world of nursing.
Fast forward two years later and I return home after a twelve hour shift.
Plop tiredly onto the sofa, and contemplate for the thousandth time since that first “fantastical” day, why in the name of all that is holy, why I became a nurse!
I rise each day, at 5am, shower, dress, grab a piece or toast or muffin, and scramble out the door, in time to make it on my floor by 6:45am.
Day in and day out
Once there, I go to report, where I hear about the previous 24 hours, and from there, I’m off!
The next 11 and a half hours pass by in a blur.
I function in a robotic-mode, surrounded by millions of pieces of paper (charting, ugh!), unable to take time to take a break (I’ve learned to hold my “water”for 14 hours straight!), walking from one patient’s room to another, barely able to utter a word, before moving on.
At the end of each day, I feel exhausted, depressed and a little sad. Sad, because, my dreams of a noble career, saving lives, had become mired in long hours, low pay and paper cuts.
I realized that those expressions of “steely resolve” I saw on that first day, were probably due to swollen feet and a full bladder.