Expecting the Unexpected
Life’s circumstances have a funny way of forcing an individual to reevaluate goals and weigh outcomes. Most of us have been there before and swore we knew what we wanted to be when we grew up. Even as we grabbed the bulls by the horn to pursue said goals, the experiences are never quite in vain. One must take financial risks—albeit a calculated one—and go for it.It’s the wee hours of the night and the pages of a pharmacology textbook I flipped lethargically (in anticipation of the fusillade of nursing exams) seem to interrupt the nocturnal tranquility somewhat. Yet some 4500 miles from the United States, where the FIFA World Cup is in full swing, a Brazilian nation will dance samba till dawn if need be for a beautiful goooal and lionize the likes of Neymar—already a soccer virtuoso at his young age. In the US even, in the talent-laden NBA playoffs, the determined and unselfish Spurs play beautiful basketball with team cohesion that is the envy of team sports and most certainly, healthcare interdisciplinary teams.
At this very moment, at rest, my sympathetic nerves raced in anticipation of my future role on such healthcare teams; you’d think I was tachycardic. The truth is, as others attested, the impending exams will come fast and furious with flashbacks of prescient warnings to study even the minutiae. I’ll be entrusted to treat fictitious patients with answer choices that run the gamut of a combination of solutions—whatever tickles the professor’s fancy. Some printouts in some random office will indifferently spew my performance all the while revealing important metrics many students wish to know. Every wrong answer has the potential to be life-threatening with the most egregious ones, fatal. Even on paper or computerized exams, it’s that serious.
Meanwhile, inside a hospital somewhere, a registered nurse is on another 12-hour exam with real patients and where the stakes are highest. Here, people can’t bluff their way into patient care. One wrong calculation and the ripple effects can be far-reaching. Here, they say, the healthcare teams can be in disarray and where many newly minted RNs experience a certain indifference from the most experienced. Even most puzzling, are those patients and families who seem apathetic to the healthcare team that is now viewed explicitly as a profit-focused model (akin to services of a 5-star resort). Still, reversing community acquired pneumonia and being released without nosocomial infections are slam dunks for all hospitals. Though, you’d be hard-pressed to replicate the celebratory dance of a FIFA World Cup or high-fives in the stands of the NBA stadiums as token of appreciation for around the clock care (tongue-in-cheek).
Will mastery of the science foreshadow my success as a practitioner? Will I be drawn into a tit for tat with an uncouth colleague over trivial matters? From the excitement of nursing school matriculation to applying endless concepts on the wards, will patients and their families or director of nursing chant MVP from afar at my having helped save a life? If the Spurs’ teamwork philosophy is any indication, it’s never really about me but it’d sure feel nice to be appreciated for the nurse’s intellect, hard work and holistic approach to patient care.
The nursing blogosphere is in bits of zeroes and ones but very much alive. Likewise, from my room the stars are beautiful; the soft rain in the middle of the night encourages a romanticized view of nursing with each rhythmic raindrop a reminder of yesteryears’ toil and preparation needed to survive nursing school. It’s a second career choice even as the earning—given today’s economic times—is token change than the lowest paid NBA player.
It is about four hours before dawn, my neurons finally signaled their fatigue. It was a week of back-to-back big news. With another bun(s) in the oven comes an invitation, an opportunity of a lifetime to attend an associate program. Before calling it a night, I glance at the elusive big envelope again and the letter within: Congratulations!”
For me, nursing (all the way up to a specialty or doctoral) is not a calling but as it appears, a destiny. As such, it can no longer be ignored.
Who knows, we may even be colleagues on the wards or in the trenches of higher academics!Last edit by Joe V on Jun 16