Eat, Sleep, Nurse

Stories - Mighty Robot NurseI stood at the nurse’ station , dressed in all white, a pink stethoscope casually  draped around my neck.

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.

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