A lot of people have asked me why I decided to become a nurse…and while they are at it why not a physician? I always try to patiently explain how these roles differ and why being a nurse is my first choice, not my second or third option. Many might get angry or annoyed when asked questions like this but I simply do not because I know deep within that I did not enter this career field for respect, recognition or money. I am not going to say it was easy…I definitely did have an idea of nursing that was not as accurate as what real nursing truly feels like…or at least clinicals and nursing school. I was promptly smacked in the face as reality hit me when I actually faced complex cases, diseases and hurt. Sure, I had seen my share of surgeries and I had happily skipped out of the operating room each time beaming and thinking to myself that I had not been wrong with my career choice. While I am definitely on the right track to full fill my calling I had not being yet exposed to what nursing really is: caring for the whole patient, mind, body and soul. You see, if you have not been in an operating room you may not know that there the body part that is being worked on is the only part uncovered while the rest is hidden with surgical cloth. You focus on fixing a small part, like working on a machine that requires meticulous calculations and moves.
It is beyond amazing and surgery will always fascinate me. However, when in this operating rooms I never knew the person beneath this cloth or his or her family, if he or she had children and how they really felt. This simple factor changed everything for me. Suddenly I couldn’t stop thinking about the patient I had at the hospital, about his or her partner or children and what city they were from. I couldn’t help but carry them with me. While many times I held back tears and others were shed at home, I prayed that I could help in any way and bring peace to each one of them, not only meds. After this initial phase of realization and emotions I realized something great, I realized why I still want to be a nurse, now more than ever. I want to be able to hold a patient’s hand during a dark time, painful procedure or even last moments. I want to be able to share the joy of regaining health after a long hospital stay. I want to provide even the smallest comfort I can to every single patient with a smile on my face even if it is something as simple as a cup of water or an extra pillow. I want to be that person that can make a small difference in the life, minute or week of a person. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to witness this raw vulnerability humans are forced into when they face disease and be able to be there when they need me. This is why I know being a nurse is my first choice.