What could be more fulfilling than to have a degree that would make a childhood aspiration a reality? What could be more exciting than to witness a miracle of life unfolding right before my eyes? What could be more humbling than to serve a person until his last breath? What could be more rewarding than to go home after a day’s work knowing that I made a difference in lives of people who are in pain, in agony, and in need of comfort and care? What could be more elating and satisfying than to be dubbed and bragged about as a hero by my own family? With these compelling thoughts in mind, I made a decision to study and equip myself to be an integral part of the medical field – a Registered Nurse.
As in all of life quest, it is always important that a certain goal is to be defined to be able to gear every effort and resources toward its accomplishment. What is even fulfilling is to have a vision of oneself attaining the goal. Undeniably, every aspiring nurse has a reason or two in the pursuit of the nursing profession. Impacting peoples lives, caring for the sick, helping others, and financial rewards are among the examples. Noble as they are, but these reasons are just outputs of nurses and are innate for the profession. The real deal is – how a nurse sees himself/herself as he/she performs the daily activities entailing the profession. The attributes and characteristics of a doer determine a work done, so to speak. In this regard, every aspiring nurse should have a thought on what kind of nurse he/she wants to be.
I had an experience to be an in-patient twice. The first one was back in the Philippines and it was due to high fever. The second one was when I gave birth to my son here in the United States. Totally different culture and totally different scenario. Nevertheless, the aim of nursing remains the same – to take care of me as a patient. Both accomplished the goal successfully. Medically and technologically speaking, nursing care in the United States is far better than in the Philippines. But, the nurses in the United States (or at least the nurses who took care of me) are lacking the sensitivity of cultural diversity. Anyhow, I consider the experience I had an opportunity to formulate an image of the kind of nurse I want to be.
I want to be a nurse whose care transcends all cultures, ethnic groups, socioeconomic status, physical and emotional conditions. I want to be a kind of nurse who shows genuine care by meeting the patient where he/she’s at. Specifically, I want to be a nurse who not only understands but also feels for the patient. As I give my care, I want to be a part of the patient, putting myself in his/her situation so I can effectively administer the care. I find joy envisioning myself as “the nurse of minorities”. As a minority in this country, I have a deeper understanding of what it is to be in need of care and not having your loved ones by your side. Being in a hospital is a scary thing but how much more scary is being in a hospital in a foreign land. I myself was horribly scared then and I could only wish for a nurse to be accommodating, willing and eager to teach, and an advocate.
A nurse knows the professional values that are needed to be effective in this field – values such as altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, and social justice. Such values are required to fulfill the task of a nurse. The nurse profession’s value system coupled with competence are effective tools to do the job. But, more than just doing the job I would like to be the kind of nurse who views the nursing profession as a calling and a mission. And that, being a nurse is a quest to live life to its full potential!