You Don't Know You're . . . Beautiful?

  1. 39

    I just completed my first week of nursing school. I have learned so many things about nurses that I didn't know before starting school. People out there in the non-nursing world don't really know what nurses do, and, the truth is, they can't know. Only a nurse knows how important her or his job is. Only a nurse knows how much time and planning and sweat and tears are put into her or his work. Beyond the skills, the charting, and the medications is a vast amount of knowledge, critical thinking, dedication, and experience. Nurses are beautiful.

    I just completed my first week of nursing school (BSN program), and I am exhausted. I have lists surrounding me detailing numerous reading and ATI assignments. Dosage calculation exams and skills check-offs are approaching. My legs and feet are aching, and my hands are numb from all the note-taking I've done over the past week. I may have lost a pound or two, because I've barely had time to eat. Nursing school is definitely difficult and time-consuming, but I absolutely love it!

    The thing is, I have learned so many things about nurses that I didn't know before starting nursing school. Sure, I researched nursing for a few years before taking my first A&P class, and I even followed around some RNs for a few days. I knew about the common things like med passes and foley caths, but I only had a vague idea about nursing diagnoses and the nursing process. Now I know why nurses must practice and perfect critical thinking, time management, and seamless coordination. Now I know why nurses are so much more than "doctors' handmaidens," up to their elbows in sputum and bowel excretions (though, as the saying goes, certain smelly things happen).

    I excitedly explained (or attempted to explain) assessments, diagnoses, and interventions to my family, and I think they understood a little. (My reference to "ADPIE" was met with blank stares.) But they don't really know, and they can't know. Only a nurse knows the importance of her or his job. Only a nurse knows how much time and planning and sweat and tears are put into her or his work. Beyond the skills, the charting, and the medications is a vast amount of knowledge, critical thinking, dedication, and experience.

    I certainly understand that at the moment I'm living in a puffy cotton candy world of guidance by clinical instructors and RNs, that I've never spent 12+ hours balancing multiple patients, and that, at this point, I haven't even brought a patient a glass of water or written a care plan. But now I understand that nursing is so much more than anyone out there in the non-nursing world even knows or imagines. And I don't feel like I need to run outside with a sign and pamphlets to make people understand what nurses do. Actually, I feel like the true essence of nursing is tucked in close, a treasure that only a brave and daring few know about. I'm actually excited to wade through the hard assignments and late nights and long clinical days to experience that treasure for myself.

    To every nurse who has ever cared for me (and there have been many), and to the nurses reading this now, each one of you is an amazing person, and I thank you for your dedication and perseverance. You care for your patients in spite of the harsh realities of your job, the rude coworkers, the not-so-great managers, and the brutal hours. Really, you don't know how beautiful you are.


    (Yes, the title is a reference to a One Direction song. And I'm okay with that.)
    Last edit by Joe V on Aug 31, '13
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  2. Visit  i♥words profile page

    About i♥words

    wordsofmymouth is in her first semester of a four semester BSN program. Writing, yoga, and allnurses.com keep her sane.

    Joined Nov '11; Posts: 568; Likes: 376.

    Read My Articles

    19 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Irienna profile page
    0
    LOVE!
  4. Visit  i♥words profile page
    0
    Quote from Irienna
    LOVE!
    Thank you!
  5. Visit  the812vein profile page
    2
    I live in the circumtance where pride being a nurse are low. I really dont want to interfere with that , i want get my pride and dignity as a nurse
    OCNRN63 and Summer Days like this.
  6. Visit  Anna Flaxis profile page
    5
    You know the phrase "They don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care" used to want to make me barf, but it's true.

    People expect competence. What they don't expect but hope for is kindness.
    twinkletoes53, goingontheRN, GrnTea, and 2 others like this.
  7. Visit  thelema13 profile page
    14
    Quote from ~*Stargazer*~
    People expect competence. What they don't expect but hope for is kindness.
    People expect dilaudid and a ride home for free
    dpcRN, Farawyn, Been there,done that, and 11 others like this.
  8. Visit  kismetRN profile page
    2
    i reaally sang the song (chorus part) before opening this.. lols!
    you made me remember my nursing school days..those days where sleep and school pressure have inversely proportionate relationship
    it's TIRING yes, but all in all I think I still missed it
    amboyer and i♥words like this.
  9. Visit  cee cee g profile page
    5
    I can tell by the words of your mouth that the patients are going to love you.
    augurey, Sakoragold, Wolfe24, and 2 others like this.
  10. Visit  Anna Flaxis profile page
    0
    Quote from thelema13
    People expect dilaudid and a ride home for free
    Some people do, this is true. Sometimes their expectations are met, and sometimes not.
  11. Visit  i♥words profile page
    0
    Quote from cee cee g
    I can tell by the words of your mouth that the patients are going to love you.
    I hope so!
  12. Visit  Carpediem1012 profile page
    1
    Well said!
    i♥words likes this.
  13. Visit  RNikkiF profile page
    2
    That's so nice!! I've "only" been doing this for three years, but sometimes it is hard to keep my spirits up. I always remember WHY I got into this, even when I ASK myself why I did. It is exhausting, but sometimes I think it is worth it!

    I think the key for every nurse is trying to hold on to that emotion and enthusiasm they had the day they started nursing school!
    Carolina Southpaw and i♥words like this.
  14. Visit  jka.richards profile page
    1
    I just finished my first week too. Couldn't have said it any better. Thanks!!
    i♥words likes this.


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