Nursing is not a professional choice for the light hearted. It is a calling for those who can offer themselves to give to the society. It can be equated as a delicate career where you the nurse hold the lives of your patients literally in your hands. Nurses administer doctors’ prescriptions at an informed point of view; hence they are the patients’ advocate, bridging a patient’s emotional feeling in times of poor health, with the doctors’ physical, clinical and chemical treatment/therapy.
Whenever I mentioned my childhood dreams of being a nurse, eyebrows raised. Maybe because I am male, initially I was put off by this especially from the immediate members of my family who termed nursing as a female dominated career, and that which does not require a university degree. But with time as I grew up, I learnt nursing as an occupation is offered at undergraduate and post graduate degree level. This will allow me to achieve both my academic ambitions of attaining at least a bachelors’ degree, as well as help others.
My admiration of nurses started as a toddler, during the many times I went to hospital with my parents, and was further renewed when I visited the dentist as a teenager. The later visit impacted heavily on my interest to be a nurse owing to the fact that the male nurse attending on me was able to relieve my pain before the dentist came. I used to be very scared of dentists and their tools, but he assured me to drop my fears, that it would be well and he would be with me throughout the visit. He made me comfortable.
Naturally, I liked helping people especially when they are in their poor help, feeling emotionally perturbed – under the weather, or in physical pain, but I didn’t have much to offer them as I was not equipped with the relevant information to assist. That was in my early years of high school before I took up my first course on Fast Aid with St. Johns’ Ambulance, now I am comfortable helping victims of accidents before the arrival of paramedics or before being attended by qualified medical practitioner. I have been helping around college, as well as at home.
I must admit however that this profession is not all a bed of roses as its thorns lie therein too. As a nurse, you help care for people at their most vulnerable moments, but unfortunately that positive mission may be eclipsed while dealing with some of its consequences, which are part and parcel of the nursing profession, some more specific to the present care systems of our time like the fear of contracting deadly diseases like HIV/AIDs, TB and Swine flu just to mention the most scary ones. But this is not deterring me from the profession I care for. I am psychologically prepared for the threats in the profession like enduring physical stress – working long hours usually due to the limited ratio of health professions – mainly nurses to patients; emotions attached to patients especially when you eventually loose them to death; the limited remunerations compared to other professions, applicable to college/certificate and diploma credential holders; the red-tape attached to the industry – most of which are outdated though extensive and awesome; finally, I intend to turn around the sneer attributed to nurses, the disrespect they attract from the others in the field of medics, especially doctors by attaining a minimal undergraduate degree in nursing.
All these hiccups will not deter me from joining this profession to my personal satisfaction, and watch this space – I am headed for nursing, that’s where my future lies.