I have been a nurse for 25 years. My graduation photo from nursing school...notice the 80's hair.
Yes, I was young, yes, I was skinny and yes, I was scared to death that I was going to harm someone.....
25 years - that's a long time, a quarter of a century, a life time for some. In fact some of the new grads that are starting to work with us could be my children. There have even been a couple that have mentioned that I started working the year they were born. Sure makes me feel old!
But, I would do it again in a heart beat. Being a nurse is just part of who I am.
I didn't go in to nursing for the fame. I didn't go in to nursing for the money. I didn't go in to nursing just for something to do. I became a nurse because I had hoped to make a difference. I wanted to be able to use the 'caring' gifts that God gave me. I wanted to do something that was exciting and that I didn't dread getting up every day for. I think on the most part that I have done that and more. I have the best co-workers that are more like family than just friends. I have made wonderful friends that have originally been my patients. I have touched lives and I actually still like my job. Hopefully I will be able to continue this for the next 25 years. Ok ~ maybe not for that long...but for awhile still any ways.
My hospital celebrates nurses week. One of the ceremonies that I like the best is the "Blessing of the Hands". It is a special ceremony where the nurses get their hands blessed by one of our chaplains - a little prayer is said and our hands are anointed with a special oil. It is a great reminder of how our work is special - even sacred.
We also have an awards dinner. Awards are handed out for nursing excellence, one for a tech / secretary, a new nurse, and a friend of nursing. Our hospital also has four values that are written in to the mission statement. The values are excellence, dignity, service and justice. Each year, they also give out an award for these (not necessarily a nurse, but for anyone in the hospital who exemplifies one of these values). A year ago - I one won a Values in Action Award for Dignity. I thought I would share the video that was made back then...it sure was a good feeling to win that award. And the front row parking that came with it was pretty nice too :)
To all of my nurse friends - Happy nurses Day! I know how hard you work and what a difference you make!
When I think about all the patients and their loved ones that I have worked with over the years, I know most of them don't remember me nor I them. But I do know that I gave a little piece of myself to each of them and they to me and those threads make up the beautiful tapestry in my mind that is my career in nursing. ~Donna Wilk Cardillo, A Daybook for Beginning Nurses.