My Journey through Nursing

My Journey through Nursing

My journey Through Nursing


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“Female Caucasian, Age 26yrs, Height 5Ft 9 Inches, Weight 127.8 pounds, Heart rate; 117 over 76, Allergic to Sulphur based drugs, Mild alcohol use, occasionally smokes, No previous transfusions. Patient reports headaches, backache, loose bowels and pain in the stomach. Patient recently on a holiday in Africa, Typhus fever suspected, Widal test already requested. Patient put on a dextrose drip. Patient prepped and ready on the examination table, awaiting your directions sir” I said. I was in the doctor’s room briefing him on the patient he was supposed to examine next.

“Good work.” Said the physician “You didn’t mention any pain killers though” I smiled and explained to him the request the patient had earlier made. “Patient says no painkillers should be administered to her, apparently her faith says pain is punishment for some misdeeds and she wishes to suffer it and dedicate it to some cause or the other.”

The physician smiled back, “We are under obligation to respect her wishes, but make sure you clearly explain to her that the option still remains open, whenever she feels ready.” The Physician had finished prepping himself and was heading to the observation room with me in tow.

The patient’s situation was as I had left it three minutes earlier. The lab technician walked in with the preliminary results which confirmed my earlier suspicions; the patient had typhus fever. I left the physician with the attending nurse as I proceeded to prep the next patient on the roll which is the normal routine in my line of work.

I am a Registered Nurse (RN) serving as an Emergency Room (ER) assistant to one of the physicians in my local Hospital. I was in the initial hours of a fifteen-hour shift and was feeling quite energetic. I checked on a previous patient who was on the way to the wards and proceeded into the adjourning examination room.

By midday, I had attended to seven patients and since there were no patients in the ER, I sat at my desk organizing notes from earlier in the day. I ate a sandwich I had brought in from home and downed it with coffee. After the light meal, I filed the notes and placed the files in the desk drawer and with nothing much to do, I started recalling the long and taxing journey that had brought me to the nursing profession.

It had been a chilly morning when I was in grade Five. My friend Pat and I had been playing on the slippery grass in the school’s compound. Full of energy as any kid my age would be, we were playing a contact game which involved a lot of chasing and grabbing. Caught up in the excitement, I pulled Pat a little too hard and she went tumbling down hard and screamed in pain. She grabbed at her leg and I saw that her foot was bent at a very unnatural angle. She was howling at the top of her voice and I couldn’t help crying when I imagined the pain I had inflicted on the adorable angel that my friend was.

The safety officer came to the rescue immediately and he carried Pat swiftly to the Schools health Unit. I sat with her comforting her and what happened next was to forever change my life. The head nurse, in a pristine white uniform came over and examined my friend. She retreated into the inner office and when she came back, she had a dangerous looking hypodermic on her hand and was filling a syringe from a container. She reached for my friend’s foot and soothingly caressed her backside. My friend was still crying in pain and I was not sure she knew what was going on. The nurse with a quick and practiced move had the needle into my friends muscle and Pat let out a high pitched howl. I hated the nurse; my young brain could not comprehend how somebody could inflict more pain on someone who was already in insufferable pain unless they were the worst sadists ever. I blamed myself for all the suffering being experienced by Pat. I was inconsolable. Before my sobs could subside, I noticed something unusual, only my sobs were being echoed back in the room, I checked on Pat and noticed that a cool calm had settled on her face, she seemed totally painless, I was amazed, I looked back at the nurse and she nodded with a knowing smile. I was hooked, from that day henceforth, all I would ever want is to be this miracle worker, this person who could erase pain in just a single move, this miracle worker who now had eased the guilt in my heart. I made a promise to myself; I would one day help a small child like this goddess did with my friend.

In all those years as I grew up, I never lost my passion for nursing, I would read anything I found about nursing and always tried to spend time with a nurse if, and when one was available. Though my experiences over the years have proved to me that nurses are no miracle workers and that they also have to contend with failure like I have done on several occasions, I have never lost the love I have for the profession.

Throughout my education, I tried to absorb all I could about nursing and strived to perform well in all related subjects including biology and chemistry and the day I got admitted into the training program still ranks as among the happiest days of my life; finally my dream was coming true.

After some classroom studies, I was ready for my first assignment as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). This was a learning experience that I had eagerly looked forward to. Though I knew that my responsibilities with patients at this stage were mostly limited to making their hospital experience more comfortable, I took it up with a lot of zeal and absorbed all the knowledge I could. I strived to take up any responsibilities an LPN is allowed to and when possible, I would accompany an RN on their duties and assist in prepping equipment and records.

Within a year of my LPN posting, I felt that I could do almost anything an RN could. I one day in the heat of an argument aired these thoughts to a colleague RN. What he said propelled me to aim higher than I was. “You think you can do what I do better rookie” he retorted, “Well then, Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is, and while at it, consider putting your brain into the mix too”

That was a challenge I was not going to shy away from and I soon enrolled into the LPN-to-RN program. My colleague was right, the engaging studies, the long working hours and ultimately the pilling bills are challenging enough to dissuade the strongest soul but as is often said, the joy is in the journey.

My life in nursing has had its ups as well as its downs, I have enjoyed putting smiles in the faces of patients and their families when things go well as well as wept inside when things did not go so well. My most agonizing experience was losing a patient in the ER as an LPN. Though I know me and my colleagues did all we could under the circumstances, the fact that I was not qualified enough to do some procedures always puts some guilt in me. I never cease to think that maybe, just maybe, I might have been able to do something had I taken the LPN-to-RN earlier.

I cannot say that I have attained my best even though my present professional station allows me more authority on some issues regarding patients as well as more responsibility. I would wish to attain my Baccalaureate soon and hopefully take a specialization in obstetrics (where I will be able to play a role in the miracle of birth) or become a theater nurse and assist surgeons in performing their job in that miracle room where life threatening diseases are literally cut into pieces.

I know this is attainable and with more personal discipline, the acceptance of the long work hours and the ups and downs of the nursing profession, I can emerge the best in what I do. I will be perpetually grateful to everyone who has walked this path with me in their own little way, family, colleagues, tutors and my seniors; each has had an impact in my journey.

“A man’s growth is seen in the

Successive choirs of his friends.”

(Emerson, 1)

The phone rings rousing me. “ER,” I say into the receiver, “This is team AER07, crash victim, adult male, heavy bleeding, Blood group ABplus, unconscious, ETA 5minutes. Out” The voice on the other end says and I hear the click as he hangs up.

I am now fully alert as I head into the ER minor theater to get it ready for the incoming patient and to get a team ready to receive him.

Work cited

“Essays: First series.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Texts. 9th April, 2009. Web. 8th June 2013.