Why did you go into nursing.... - page 2

I would like this to be a POSITIVE forum. 1. Why did you go into nursing? and 2. Tell us a couple of NICE things that have happened during your career. There are many of us student nurses... Read More

  1. by   nurshathaway
    Mustangsheba...in no way did I think that you were a prig? My main purpose for this forum was to find out more from my future colleagues why they chose nursing, and I really appreciate all the feedback I've received.

    Have a Happy, Healthy New Year!!

    Kris
  2. by   kiwijangle
    An interesting topic!!!
    I went nursing in the early 70's so I could leave a difficult family life in rural New Zealand.

    It has been a good choice for me. I have enjoyed experiencing the increasing levels of autonomy that nursing has gone through, and here we are not having the same staff shortages that are prevelant amongst our Northern hemisphere colleagues.

    I also enjoy the technical mastery of machines and gadgets. I enjoy clearly defining a clinical story and using my nursing wisdom to anticipate potential problems and provide nursing interventions to prevent or alleviate them.

    I enjoy contact with patients and families, gaining information to tailor careplans and plan safe discharges, and providing me with many insights into human nature along the way.

    I have enjoyed advanced nursing education and committee work which have encouraged personal and professional development.
    And I especially enjoy working with students and new nurses - to pass onthe essence of nursing as I see it. I believe nursing is a privelidged occupation.

    It has also taught me how precious life is, and when off duty I live mine "to the fullest".
  3. by   Jenny P
    kiwijangle, loved your posting and it reminded me of when I was a home health nurse back in the early 70's. A World Famous Medical Center sent a patient home with a new colostomy and I was supposed to teach him how to irrigate it and care for it. However, they hadn't done good discharge planning: the patient lived in a house with a dirt floor, with an outhouse "out back", and a well that had a clogged sand point; so my first job as his nurse was to find $$$$ to get the sand point fixed! I learned the value of plastic 5 quart ice cream buckets with that patient! LOL!! I also loved the little old fellow; I learned some fantastic insights on death and dying (with dignity) from him that I will never forget.... "death is just another part of life"; and that "we are born to die." He was prepared to face his Maker, and he died with a smile that made him look like he was the richest man in the world. That's why I love nursing.

    [This message has been edited by Jenny P (edited January 02, 2001).]
  4. by   lita1857
    I kept thinking...why did I go into nursing? WHY did I go into nursing? why DID I go into nursing? in the last 23yrs I have asked myself that many times....on 12/31/2000 I tought I don't have an answer even after all these years...today 1/1/2001 maybe it's because I am Fasinated with the human body/spirit/mind.....and if anyone saw the movie "private benjamin" w/ Goldie Hawn...at 20yrs old that was me!!!!! now at 44yrs old well let's say I still get asked the question I just still don't have the answer!
  5. by   nurskelli
    I love my job. I work in Medicare. I am surrounded with the reminders that we are not here forever. The baby-boomers are aging, and together we are dealing with the pain of our parents having strokes, debilitating illness, etc. I see the stress in the eyes of the adult children. I see them there night after night, the caregiver sibling, and those who have flown in from across the country. I know their pain personally...we are all in this together. I see the depression as my patients' autonomy is stripped from them by the onset of dementia, or the loss of mobility, often both. I see them crying, I see the fear and I see their fortitude. We are all in this together...the families, the patients, the nurses...sometimes we even get to share the burden with the doctors. It is what living is about, it is hard. But I love my job.

    My mother died suddenly two months ago, strong and healthy one moment, then she was gone. I was spared the agony of the long goodbye, and the blessing of the long goodbye. I am so glad God put me in this place. A place where only the suffering people see me. A place where only He sees me. He said "in so much as you have done it unto these my brethern you have done it unto me>"
    When I went into nursing, i really didn't know why. I think it was something I was made to do. I just wanted to help people in a signifigant way. I love my job

    Originally posted by nursejanedough:
    I got into nursing for better pay and because I was interested in nursing and science. I found I love geriatrics. Agism is rampant. Our elderly need our utmost respect and tender care. I am glad I was there when I was the one holding his/her hand when they had their last breath. I was praying for them and.. me (because there was no family/friends left). I could tell a lot more, but I love this poem (author unknown). This is kind of long, but worth it.
    An Old Lady Has the Last Word

    What do you see, nurse, what do you see?
    What do you think when you're looking at me?
    A crabby old woman, not very wise,
    Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes,
    Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
    When you say in a loud voice, "I do wish you'd try."
    Who seems not to notice the things that you do,
    and forever is losing a stocking or shoe,
    who resisting or not, must do as you will,
    Is that what you're thinking: is that what you see?
    Then open your eyes, nurse, you're not looking at me. I'll tell you who I am as I sit here so still, As I do your bidding, as I eat at your will.
    I'm a small child of ten with a father and mother; Brother and sister who love one another; A young girl of sixteen with wings on her feet, dreaming that soon now a lover she'll meet; A bride soon twenty -- my heart gives a leap. Remembering the vows that I promised to keep. At 25, now I have young of my own who need me to build a secure, happy home.
    A woman of 30, my young growing fast, Bound to each other with ties that should last;
    At 40, my sons have grown and are gone. But my man is beside me to see I don't mourn; At 50, once more babies play around my knees: Again we know children, my loved one and me.
    Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead. I look to the future, I shudder with dread. For my young are all rearing children of their own, And I think of the years and love I've known.
    I'm an old woman and nature is cruel.
    'Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.
    The body it crumbles: grace and vigor depart.
    There is now just a stone where I once had a heart.
    But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells.
    And now and again my battered heart swells.
    I remember the joys, I remember the pain.
    And I'm loving and living life all over again
    I think of the years, all too few, gone too fast, and accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
    So open your eyes, nurse. Open and see.
    Not a crabby old woman: look closer - See Me.

  6. by   l-andre
    How refreshing!
    I've been an ICU nurse for eight years now and it seem to be harder and harder to find good reasons to stay in this profession even with the best intentions. With all the negativity around it, it's nice to see we're not all completely discouraged and that we can remember why we are still doing this. It's not my job that I sometimes dislike but more often the lack of time to do it. Thank you all for putting the bad press behind for a while and talk about feeling good being a nurse for a change. You made my day!!
  7. by   patches
    Wow, I just graduated nursing school last month. I am planning to take my boards in a week. I am excited though. I also am an ER tech in a level I trauma center. I love nursing and I know what you mean about discouragement. I remember when I decided to go to nursing school. I actually was a stay at home mom. My husband teases and he tells people I went into nursing for my undying need to care for someone and that my 3 children will leave me eventually. The youngest is 3. anyways, there is a nurse I work with that spent two hours trying to make me feel stupid for choosing nursing for a profession. After that conversation I felt sad, but not sad at nursing more sad for her. I watched her throughout nursing school and learned a lot from her. She is simply someone who does not enjoy nursing. I learned how not to be. I always tried to go behind her and make her patients feel special. In an ER sometimes the patient gets overlooked while we are fixing the problem. I also was able to learn who I loved being around and learning from and those are the nurses I want to be like. I was extremely surprised when that particular nurse came up to me the week before my nursing finals of my last semester. I always avoided conversation with her, but this time she sorda had a different look to her. She hugged me and told me she thought I would be a wonderful nurse and that she is jealous of the way I seem to click with people and maybe if she had that characteristic she would like nursing. I left there feeling great for the compliment and kinda sad for her, because I believe to become a nurse you have to have that people-friendly trait, I think sometimes people lose it and don't know how to get it back, so I guess what i am trying to say. I cherish my interactions with my patients almost as if I learn something new from each and every one. That way, each person is an individual, instead of another chest pain or shortness of breath or flu. People are interesting and I enjoy making their life better, whether it is advanced life support or holding someone,s hand.
  8. by   Navy Nurse
    I went into nursing to advance my career and for my love of medicine. It is difficult at times, because there are still some old stereotypical responses and attitudes about male nurses, but I wouldn't trade my job for anything. My 2 most cherished experiences come from both ends of the spectrum of life. My first job was on a medical floor, more like a now days long term care facility. Most of the patients that came through died. I took care of this wonderful old man for over 80 days. I got to know his family and spent many nights talking to him and recalling his life experiences. I was there the day he died. It was truely a beautiful experience. He told all his family members good-bye and then turned and thanked me for making his days a little easier and then he died. That was many years ago but I still remember his face and words. Since that time I have moved on and found my love in nursing, Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing. They are totally dependent on your care. You hold the start of life in your hands. I took care of a 24 weeker, 500 grams for 190 days. A great day when he got to go home. Of course not all of the neonates live and in that you can only hope that you made them as comfortable as possible during their time on earth. What a wonderful career choice to maybe, even if it is for an instance, to help another human. I couldn't image doing anything else.
  9. by   kiwijangle
    A Nurses Answer to "The Crabbit Old Woman"

    What do you see, you ask, what do you see?
    Yes, we are thinking when we look at thee!
    We may seem to be hard when we hurry and fuss, But there's many of you and too few of us,
    We would like far more time to sit by you and talk,
    To bathe you and feed you and help you to walk,
    To hear of your lives and the things you have done,
    Your childhood, your husband, your daughter, your son.
    But time is against us, there's too much to do'Patients too many and nurses too few.
    We grieve when we see you so sad and alone,
    That nobody cares now your end is so near,
    But nurses are people with feelings as well,
    And when we're together you'll often hear tell, Of the dearest old Gran in the very end bed, And the lovely old Dad and the things that he said.
    We speak with compassion and love and feel sad,
    When we think of your lives and the joy that you've had.
    When the time has arrived for you to depart,
    You'll leave us behind with an ache in our heart,
    When you sleep the long sleep, no more worry or care,
    There are other old people and we must be there.
    So, please understand, if we hurry and fuss, There are many of you and too few of us.

    Copied from "1975 Nelson Hospital Nurses Chronicle" this response to the poem quoted above addresses the feelings of despair we can encounter when workloads push us into coping mode - no matter what our personal values are! It was very popular when I trained apprentice-style during this era, old peaple with strokes and the like were not rehabilitated and spent years in hospital.
    We are human too. Lets be kind to ourselves and each other. Kia Kaha! (be strong)
  10. by   mustangsheba
    Kiwijangle: Thank you for the answer to that wonderful poem.
  11. by   Iwant2banurse
    I wanted to thank all of you for input on this topic. The responses I got were exactly what I was looking for. It is always sad to see nurses that have been so beaten by the hardships that they lose that reason why they chose to become nurses. Patches, I really like your response about how you were sad for the nurse that seemed to be so down on the profession. I feel that there are two kinds of nurses we will be working with...those of us on this BB who may be frustrated with the unfairness but the openness to work with our fellow nurses and want to be part of a team and those like that poor nurse that have lost their reason and resent those are either new or still happy about being a nurse.

    And for you Navy Nurse, I think that it is great that men are in nursing. One of the best nurses I ever met was my former supervisor who is a psychiatric nurse/program coordinator of an Adult Continuing Day treatment Program. His care of his patients has been a motivator for me to continue and become a nurse myself.
  12. by   nursejanedough
    Kiwijangle, I love your response titled "The Crabbit Old Woman". The original poem was titled "An Old Lady Has the Last Word". Your poem was so accurate in describing how the nurses feel. The original poem describes how the patient feels. I have fled many a patient's room knowing they needed someone to talk to

    or needed someone to help comfort them in the last few hours of life. I would flee (very reluctantly)to answer a call light that had been ringing for 15 minutes, or to give that pain pill or injection that was requested 20 minutes ago This site has really motivatedmeinto looking for real solutions to real/and getting worse problems in LTC nursing shortage.
  13. by   Spellbound
    Well, I am not actually a nurse yet, but I am in college to become one, does that count?
    I just completed my first semester of general education requirements, so I have a long way to go yet, but I have worked as a CNA for about 5 years in long-term care, adult foster care, and home health care.
    There are a few reasons why I chose this profession. As a child I was hospitalized to 2 weeks with undiagnosed bleeding from my kidneys. I had many wonderful nurses, but the one I remember the most was an angel in a uniform named Terri. She held my hand when I thought the pain would kill me. She wiped my eyes when I cried and just wanted to die rather than go through another test. She went to the store in the middle of the night and bought me popsicles with her own money when the kitchen ran out ( I was on a total liquid diet). Her loving care made an unbearable time bearable, and I have never forgotten her. I met many nurses in the course of my accident prone childhood, and so many of them treated me with loving patience, I thought they were angels or something. When my grandmother died a few years ago it was the nurses who helped me get through it. I stayed with her for 15 hours until she finally let go and left us, talking to her, singing songs, and just holding her hand. At one point I had 3 nurses, a doctor, a respiratory therapist, and the whole family in the room singing "Puff The Magic Dragon". Afterwards, the nurses came to me and hugged me tight and told me that even though my grandmother had been comatose the entire time I was there, that she had heard me and that I had made her leaving easier for her. It was at that moment that I knew I wanted to be a nurse.
    Because of a now ex-husband who had me convinced that I was too studpid to be a nurse, I did not follow that dream then. It took me many years, but I finally gathered the courage to leave him and now I am going to school to fulfill my dream. I have just completed my first semester of general education requirements with straight A's and will be applying to the nursing school next fall. I have a long way to go, but I know that it will be worth it. I love caring for people, and this is the best way I know to do that.
    Thank you to all the nurses out there, it is because of so many of you that most of us who now choose this profession do so. I feel honored to know that I will be joining your ranks in a few years.
    Chris

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