“I could never be a nurse – I can’t stand the sight of blood!” “Oh, you are so lucky to work in the maternity unit – it is such a happy place!” “Working with sick kids would be so sad.” “I dread the thought of growing old – who will be there for me?” “When will you ever be finished going to school?”
Through the course of my career, as I have heard such comments, I am surprised at the misconceptions about the nursing profession. So many avenues are available. Nursing is so many things: assisting at that most intimate time with the birth of a child (blood and all!); guiding an eager adolescent with a new leg prosthesis status post amputation for osteosarcoma; laughing with a 92-year-old woman over her assertion, “Of course I need vitamins – for enough energy to run across the street so I don’t get hit by a car!”
And lifelong learning is at the crux of it all. As a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, I must never stop “going to school.” Being aware of the latest research on the prevention and treatment of diaper dermatitis or the prevention of urinary tract infections in the elderly, truly makes a difference in the quality of life for my patient population. Understanding the student of the millenium to better design the nursing curriculum only comes with continued professional development. Recognizing that we are preparing nurses today for a future in health care that will only remotely resemble today’s healthcare environment can only occur if one has an open mind to new things. Yes, it will be challenging for the new nurse – and I welcome you to this wonderful world with open arms!
Galatians 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control.