Enough of the "bad" stuff, lets hear what makes nursing so special

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Now that I have seen all of the gross work I will be doing, please fill me in on what your best experience has been after all of the gross stuff. I think this will be a good encouragement to those of us that are starting in the fall.

So, at the end of the day, what makes nursing so special? Please be specific.


391 Posts

Specializes in LTC, ER.

saving lives definitely. i once resusitated my patient after she had collapsed due to gulping not chewing her scalloped potatoes. she was found unconscoius on the bathroom floor in the nursing home. that was such a good feeling, it made all the bad days i had had to endure worthwhile.

also, even when you know the patient is not going to make it, providing support to him/her as they die and offering emotional support to the family during and after the death. it is very fulfilling.

or, seeing a patient that has only a slim chance of recovery,come into the nursing home,hospital or rehab, etc. and make so much progress that they are able to go back home and lead a quality life and you know that you were instrumental in making that happen.:)


127 Posts

It's nice to see something positive posted.


40 Posts

it is definatley nice to see positive things..I think as the time gets closer for a new batch of us students to start, we really need positive thinking instead of worrying about all of the things we will see. Because that is what it is all about. Making a difference in someones life. I hope to get so much fulfillment out of my career.:)

Altra, BSN, RN

6,255 Posts

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

Connecting with patients. Having them say "thank you, you've been very kind."

Gradually gaining enough knowledge to be able to explain procedures/meds/ treatments to patients so they have a better understanding of what to expect.

Looking back at the nightmare of a 14-page assessment/care plan I've just slaved over and realizing "wow - I really did all that for this patient."


You definitely impact every single one of your patients. Most of the time it's in very small ways, but occasionally you get to have a longer-term impact on them through your care and/or by educating them about their health.


107 Posts

Patients saying "thank you". Patients WALKING in months later (after orthopaedic surgery-our floor) and wanting to say "Hi" and "Thanks". Patients going home who thought they would have to go to rehab because they did so well in the hospital.

Those are my everday smiles!


355 Posts

Specializes in School, Camp, Hospice, Critical Care.

Last night I cared for an elderly woman who had fallen, was brought in by ambulance, and was scared (try terrified) and disoriented--just crying and crying and crying while strapped to the backboard. I stayed with her as much as I could, and kept telling her she was safe and that her daughter was on the way. Once her daughter arrived I concentrated on our other patients, but everytime I stuck my head in to check on her, I got the biggest smile--I heard her whisper to her daughter "She took such good care of me!" -- :nurse: better than any paycheck!

Specializes in Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Call Center RN.
Now that I have seen all of the gross work I will be doing, please fill me in on what your best experience has been after all of the gross stuff. I think this will be a good encouragement to those of us that are starting in the fall.

So, at the end of the day, what makes nursing so special? Please be specific.

I have worked in Peds and LTC. When the kids come running up to you and give you hug when they are feeling better, is priceless. The LTC was stressful, but one of the crabbiest patients I had, I took the time to sit down and talk to her. She was angry that she was in the nursing home and her daughter wasn't visiting as often as she had promised after admission. I tried to talk to her about the fact that her daughter had her family and had to run a household. You know all she wanted was to have her special air freshner. I went out on my day off spent 1.99 for the spray and had a best friend for the rest of her life. She gave me a hug every time she saw me. Honestly those are those priceless moments that not only bring tears to my eyes(she passed about a year ago) and makes me sooooo thankful I have pursued my dream.


510 Posts

During my last rotation, just about all my patients were end-stage AIDS and a few of them actually died on me (which was horrendous to watch) but the really cool thing about it all was that all of them said how much they appreciated how well I took care of them. One guy said he was praying for death because death couldn't possibly be any worse than what he was going through. It wasn't so much the medications or the other assistance with hygiene, feeding, wound care, etc. that turned this guy around but the fact that I was in there now and again talking to him and encouraging him. He was in pretty good spirits by the end of my shift, and I thought that was great.

My first clinical instructor told me to always pick patients with the worst diseases and the worst complications to take care of, that way I can get as much experience as possible. That was excellent advice because it also helped me out with patho questions on the theory exams. The RNs on the floor love it because they don't have to do any of the 'dirty work' for the patients when I'm around. But the experiences I've had since I began my clinicals last year have all been interesting, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. That's why I love nursing so much.

Gompers, BSN, RN

2,691 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

Having parents tell me, "You'll never know how glad I am that you're here tonight," when I'm assigned to care for their extremely sick baby.

It's a huge responsibility, when strangers have that much faith in you. But with that responsibility comes enormous pride in your work and the realization that what you do today will be remembered forever by your patients and their families.


483 Posts

Hearing from an R.N. that as a student you are doing a good job.

Hearing from a nursing tech. that you made that bed "perfect", and feeling proud about it.

Hearing from a patient that they will miss you when you are gone.

Hearing one nurse tell the other nurse to "stop hogging the student".

Catching a med. error before it happens.

Feeling like you are a real nurse, even if it only involved flushing an IV and reconnecting it.

Sitting on a patient's bed and chatting with them for a few minutes.

Having a patient reach out to hold your hand when you enter the room.

Having an increasing amount of "OHHH I GET IT" moments.

Chaya, ASN, RN

932 Posts

Specializes in Rehab, Med Surg, Home Care.

Explaining something to your patient and their family about their meds or their condition or their equipment and having them say "Oh- I never understood that before".

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