1.5 years into my program, I have to stop and wonder: What the hell did I get myself into? Is this what I had asked for when I chose nursing over life as an educator?
I don’t really understand why people can look at nurses and only see the strength, the willpower, the undying dedication to patient care and advocacy–without stopping to think that we break, we crack, we cry, and above all, we hurt ourselves. Nurses are notorious for disregarding their own health, their own sanity for the sake of others.
It’s just that we concern ourselves with your well-being so much that we become professionals at hiding our own troubles. We will be there to validate you but who is there to validate us?
I should step back and correct myself. I cannot speak for all nurses. But every day I work with nurses and every day I sit in a classroom full of nurses and nurses-to-be: This is what I see. This is my experience.
Maybe it’s because I now have the insider’s perspective, that I feel this injustice towards nurses. I hear the gossip in the hallways, I see the stressed sighs and teary-eyed faces buried in the sleeves of their scrubs.
I know the feeling of standing alone in the locker room, crying and crying silently until you hear the door open–and it stops. My patient’s call bell is ringing. My sister is dying. My mother needs the strength to leave the house tonight. The little boy I nanny bumped his head on the corner of a wall. A friend needs me. It stops. Hold please.
Each day my peers are taking their board exams and passing,
But here I am, standing at the edge of the plank,
afraid and hesitant,
in my ability to become a real nurse.
I had the strength to make the jump,
Now do I have the ability to stay afloat?