Something of Value

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    I have always wanted to enter an essay contest, but have the unfortunate dilemma of having nothing to say.

    But should that stop me?

    How much of life is occupied by the vain pursuit of excellence in areas of no value? Let’s consider, for instance, pop culture. Few things are done with such fervor and finesse, but what is it really? Is it” dust in the wind”, as a famous rock philosopher would say? Ahhhh, but then, that would be pop culture, wouldn’t it?

    And there are the every day things.

    I remember going into a bagel place, and bagel guy was quite stressed and perturbed that I was not making a selection in a timely manner. This was obviously almost more than he could bear, despite the fact that no one was in line behind me. I remember thinking, “I’d like to see this guy in a code”. Guess I am hard to impress after watching what nurse handle everyday.

    And those pesky politicians. Imagine spending your days promoting yourself and belittling your fellow statesmen. Oh yeah, that makes me want to elect them to lead the country.
    Let’s have them change a few adult diapers. It would build some character, and make them , in my estimation, a bit more presidential.

    Nursing is one rare thing.

    It gets down to what matters. The fundamentals things like, “do onto others as you would have them do unto you” or” it’s not about us, it’s about the patients”.
    It’s about integrity, skill, and hard work.

    I watch nurses everyday doing things others avoid, taking on responsibilities that would over whelm most people, and making decisions that would keep me awake at night.

    Integrity, a rare thing in our time, is a way of life for a good nurse. Everything they do involves doing the right thing, in the right way, for the right reason. There is very little room for error. Very often, doing what is right is not received well, but the nurses must put aside reactions to undeserved criticism, and remain focused on delivering care.

    That’s character.

    Nurses must be skilled. Education is ongoing, and nurses are undaunted in their pursuit. I know nurses who are much older, near retirement, who have never lost there drive to know more, to do it better. Wow.

    Nursing is hard work. It is physically grueling, and mentally challenging. Nurses don’t take it easy if they are having a hard day. The needs of their patients dictate their day, not how the nurse is feeling.

    I have wondered many times what drives nurses.

    Why do this everyday?

    I know it must be rewarding, doing something that really counts. They produce much more than “dust in the wind” with their lives.

    The pursuit of knowledge and skill is gratifying, I am sure. But there are other fields that require so much less personally. Nurses give more than their time to their jobs, they give themselves.
    It must be that they care.

    Booker T. Washington once said “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”
    Nurses do that every day.
    Last edit by brian on Jan 9, '08
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