I just finished the classroom portion of orientation for a float position at a new-to-me hospital. Well, the floating starter sooner than I expected. Instead of going to do the floor orientation, I was floated to do hematology/oncology orientation. Heaven KNOWS this is not where I wanted to go. But how could I say no. I mean, it was the first request.....JUST MY LUCK! So, I reported to the new assignment with wind in my jaws, steam coming out of my ears, and kicking rocks all the way there! Man, I was mad. But as the clients arrived, (it was an outpatient setting attached to the hospital), my anger faded. After all, I'm a professional, or so I'm told.
To my surprise, and I've been a nurse nearly 30 years so nothing surprises me, people that I didn't know walked through the door. No, I don't mean strangers from this new environment. I mean people who were not the 'frequent flyer'. It wasn't the sickle cell patient with the same story but with a different face. It was not the breast cancer patient who was planning the next dose of narcotics as I pushed the current dose. It was not the neutropenic patient that required us to don PPE time and time and time again prior to entering the room. No, I saw YOU come through the door; I saw my brother come through the door; I saw our friend come through the door; the reflection in the window showed ME coming through the door! After all these years of growing a tough-enough hide to survive in the world of nursing, i saw these patients fade into average people with the look of hope and desperation in their eyes as they watch these nurses delicately handle what hopes to TRULY be THE lifesaver in the palms of their hands. I saw our patients BEFORE they were sick. I saw those fascinated with "the portacath". I saw every-day people, people whom I've not seen since I 'got the hang of nursing'.
All these years, I avoided this area of nursing because all I could envision was repetitive blood transfusions! Instead, I found a group of people who said, without speaking a word, "please help me".
Is this what it feels like to be a born-again nurse? If it is, it is an absolutely overwhelming, but AMAZING feeling!!!!