Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nursing, in theory

Today was my first day at the hospital, but only for orientation. I get my first patient next week, but I wanted to write down some of my thoughts on nursing before I get thrown into the "real world" of care. I've only done book work so far so I feel like my knowledge or "experience" is only based on a perfect world, highly idealized and I'm pretty sure I'm headed for a shock next week.

But, so far this is what I really like about nursing:

1.) Nursing deals with whole people. Not just the physiological part of you but the psychosocial, developmental, emotional, spiritual, etc parts of you too. If you are in the hospital, we care about your pain, your anxiety, whether or not you have a support system, if you have financial resources to pay for the healthcare you need. People are complex...I like dealing with all the pieces of the puzzle.

2.) In nursing, you get to take all your prejudice and preconceived notions about people and put them in the trash. I'm sure I'll run across people who are drug addicts, people who abused their bodies and are now paying the price, child abusers, etc along with sick innocent children, sweet grannies with dementia and good people dying of cancer. No matter who they are, I get to care for and love them as children of God. I think that is so cool.

3.) I like that there will be variety and real people in my day. Some moments I'll be charting, some moments I'll be helping people to the bathroom (or cleaning up if someone didn't make it in time,) I'll be administering meds, calling cranky doctors in the middle of the night, etc. etc. In my last job, I worked in a grey cubicle doing the same thing day in and out while only interacting with the same handful of people. Maybe I'll come to appreciate those days, but for now, I'm excited for the change.

Will there be days that I'll deal with difficult people? Will I get frustrated, burned out and cry? Most def. But for now, in my safe bubble of nursing textbooks and mannequins I think nursing is the bomb!

On a side note, I'm also really grateful for the support network I've had for the first 6 weeks of school. Luke deals with a lot of stress crying, being trapped in the apartment because I'm too tired to go anywhere, practicing assessments AND he gets up super early to help me carry my books to my car. Did I score an amazing husband or what? My parents and in-laws have also been wonderful by sending a steady supply of food, praying for me, being excited when I do well on exams and listening to me drone on about school. I'm blessed and truly grateful!


  1. I loved reading this. It reminds me of my feelings as I started studying social work. When things get hard you can come back and read this to remember why you chose nursing.

  2. I love getting to know you better through posts like this! You're awesome Whitney! If I ever end up needing a nurse, I sure hope it's someone like you!!