When I was younger I had so many different dreams and aspirations of what I’d be in life. For a while I dreamed of having a law firm with two of my other friends we would be Baker, Bean and Reid Associates at Law.
Funny, only one of us actually went into law; but another one did throw her hat in a political/policy influencing arena and sits on Oakland’s City Council.
I, on the other hand, had no long standing law affiliated aspirations. I decided pretty early I’d go into the medical field, early enough that I decided to take Latin to help me later with all the medical terminology I’d learn, and boy it truly came in handy. While others struggled I seemed to breeze right through medical terminology, so much so, I tutored and assisted the instructor during Pharmacology classes for my Licensed Practical Nurse program.
I started as a Home Health Aide then became certified as a State Tested Nursing Assistant. Let me just say nursing assistants are the backbone of health care especially long term care and they don’t get enough attention and appreciation.
It’s hard, sometimes back breaking work, yes they have way more tools and lifting equipment now than they had back in 1993 when I started out, but still it’s laborious work, if you truly care and give your residents the care they deserve.
I didn’t get into the medical field for the money, I got into it for the care and service to the people. I truly have a heart to help others be their best selves. Lots of people chose a career in nursing because it’s an honest and noble living and because they too wanted to help and serve others and it showed in the quality and type of care given to the residents and patients.
In recent years, it seems more are turning to nursing as an easier way to make decent money with a short amount of schooling required to start.
You can definitely tell the difference in the quality of the nurses that are being turned out now versus in the past.
Too many people don’t do it for the passion, they do it to floss and flex for the masses and in the end it’s our sick and vulnerable populations that suffer. This lack of true caring and consideration is what burns out the nurses that truly have a heart for the people and care.
It’s not the patients that really wear you out it’s the policies and politicking. It’s the cuts and poor management and out of touch Administration. It’s coworkers that don’t give as good as they get. It’s work being piled onto your good and dependable worker and no recompense for the bad apples on the team.
Somehow, nursing has to turn back into the passion filled career it once was and not just the lucrative field it’s turning into. The nation is capitalistic and I know this more than anyone, but we also have a world of people that are living longer but chronically sicker, so we have to get back into the act of honestly caring for their well-being.
I had some excellent role models for nurses.
We need more older nurses willing to invest in and mentor these younger nurses. We need nurses that don’t eat and alienate their young. We need advanced practice nurses that humble themselves and realize that initials and titles don’t automatically equate to great nurses, it goes beyond that to mindset, common sense and skill set.
Honestly, I know lots of LPNs that I would allow to care for me before some RN’s. We can’t forget the struggle just because we make it beyond it. We have to remember the humanity in nursing and our why behind becoming one.
Nursing has to get back to the art of care and compassion we were known for.
So, as we embark upon another Nursing Week, I implore you to do your part in keeping nursing a compassionate and honorable profession.
If not for the sick and infirm there would be no need for the nurse.
And as you care for others always remember it could be you or someone close to you on the other end of needing care.