I am a nurse. It is my duty to take care of people when they are sick, injured, or even dying.
I have been a registered nurse for over 20 years. I feel it is my duty to help people when they are in need. If I can make just one bit of difference in their lives, then my job has been done successfully.
I work at a children's hospital in a fairly large city here in the South (Tulsa, Oklahoma). I take care of children, from neonates (newborns) all the way up to adolescents (teenagers). I mainly work in the Emergency Room (ER), but I will work in other areas if they need me. Besides the ER, I have worked Onocology (cancer ward), Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Cardiology (heart or circulatory system), Orthopedics (bone and joint injuries or conditions), and Nephrology (kidney-related issues).
I have seen just about anything medical science can throw at me: kids at the brink of death miraculously recover without incident. Kids who were expected to survive suddenly take a dramatic turn for the worse, code (stop breathing or their hearts stop beating), and die, no matter what we could do for them. Kids who had freak accidents involving everything from rakes, screwdrivers, hammers, even getting june bugs or water bugs stuck in their ears (or noses). Pinched fingers and toes. The tell-tale bruises and marks of abuse and neglect.
My job is not an easy one. The pay is lousy, the hours are long, and more often than not, we don't get as much as a thank you from the patients' relatives. We don't get weekends or holidays off; I can't tell you how many Easters, Christmases, July 4ths, or Thanksgivings I have had to give up because I was scheduled to work. We are often at the mercy of pompous doctors who act like they're God, or a hostile administration whose joy in life is to add more stress or work on our already over-taxed, exhausted bodies.
Yet despite all the drawbacks, when we pull a child back from death or see a child from cancer go into remission or a child who wasn't expected to walk again take her first tentative steps on crutches, well, the feeling we get is nothing less than extraordinary.
Being a nurse as long as I have, I have gotten used to the routines, but we regularly have to attend classes, as medicine is constantly changing: new rules, new forms to fill out, new diagnoses or treatments, reaching out to different ethnic groups or races. I happen to love my job, even with all its drawbacks; I can't even begin to imagine doing anything else.
God meant for me to be a nurse, so that is why I do this. I just hope that people realize that there's more to me than just my name tag, scrubs, stethescope, or medical knowledge that I've gleaned over the years! I may be a nurse, but I am a person, a person with feelings, dreams, and desires!