Friday, May 27, 2011

It is in these times that I wish I were a Nurse.

I can barely change the channel lately without seeing the horrors of mother nature play out on the television. The news this morning tells of the possibility of more rain and hail, more damaging winds, more destruction.  I feel for the people affected by tornadoes and flooding, for their families and friends that are looking for loved ones, and for those who already know that their loved ones were called home by their Creator.

It is in these times that I wish I were already a nurse.  I see the Red Cross alerts asking for more volunteers to deploy to these areas to help with search and rescue and to staff the make shift field hospitals; I feel helpless knowing that there is nothing that I can do to help at this time.  Should I already be a nurse I would put in for vacation time and deploy to these areas so that someone might be saved, a family might be made whole again.

This is part of the reason why I want to become a nurse.  It is not because I have some idealistic idea of swooping in to save the day and having people appreciate the things, both big and small, that you do for them on a daily basis.  I have done the clinicals on the Medical/Surgical and Post Operative units with some telemetry mixed in, so I am completely aware that this job is, for the most part, thankless.  Patients yell at you, families yell at you, everyone needs your attention because they are the most important at that time.  You do everything you can to get it done with no expectations of gratitude, but you never decided to become a nurse because you want gratitude.  If you want to be thanked, if you want gratitude, if you want to be a star, you should have become a professional athlete.

No, I want to be a nurse for the everyday situations, but also for the disasters in the Mid-West and other places.  To be able to look at my hands and to use them to save a life, to comfort a loved one of a patient, to provide some sense of sanity when the rest of their world has gone the way of chaos (even though as a nurse you operate, and live, in a world of controlled insanity).  It is about running in while others are running out, to go into the hell as others are trying to escape, because you know that for some people that you are the very last hope they can cling to.

This is not something that is true only for nurses, but for all emergency and non-emergent medical personnel.  Paramedics, EMT's, Nurses, Nurses Aides, Doctors, Advanced Practice Nurses, Fire Fighters: we all rush in when panic has gripped others and I am grateful to all of my fellow medical personnel, both presently serving and those of us still learning.

It is these times that I wish I were a Nurse, because in times of chaos, everyone needs an anchor to hold onto.

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