Especially in recent times, everybody around the world has been hailing nurses as “heroes.” However, what happens when a nurse needs a hero of their own? What constitutes a “nurse hero?”
What Inspired You to Become a Nurse?
I only graduated from nursing school in May 2019, so my memories are still quite vivid. One of my vivid memories is, almost every semester on the first day of classes, my professor had my classmates and I tell the class what inspired us to go into the profession. A lot of times, my peers said they had a family member or friend who was a nurse and they looked up to them, which is what brought them to nursing school. I could not relate, as I did not even know anyone who was a nurse (or, might I add, even in the healthcare field). But, I always thought it was pretty nifty. Knowing someone made it out alive and was successful with a career, someone you could turn to for help if needed...deep down, I kind of wished I had someone like that. I quickly realized I would need to hold my own, and tried to push away the nagging feeling that I was an underdog. I’m sure others who were in a similar position could relate.
New Nurse Trials
After the trials and tribulations every nurse endures in school, I happily graduated, and passed the NCLEX. By September, I started a job in an ambulatory surgery setting. I had no idea what to expect, as the only experience I ever had consisted of my clinical rotations in hospitals and my part-time job at a doctor’s office. (This was one of those times I wished I had someone to ask questions to).
Co-workers to the Rescue
Just as I expected, it was completely different! But before I knew it, weeks turned into months. Recently, I thought back to how much I’ve learned and grown, both professionally and personally. I then realized I couldn’t have done it without all the help from my experienced coworkers who are always willing to teach me something. They answer my questions (even if it means interrupting what they are doing), and willingly listen to my rants. I was deployed in a hospital for part of the COVID-19 pandemic, and my coworkers constantly texted and called to check up on me. Which brings me to my title...the most priceless gift I’ve ever received is the time of any nurse who has supported me in any way. I finally have nurses to look up to as role models...just like I had wanted years ago. Being a 22-year-old with no one older and experienced in your profession to talk to is not easy, which is why I’m so thankful for now having these people in my life. They are the nurses that I want to be like when I am older. I also have to thank my best friend, who is about to go to nursing school, for listening to my stories about the nursing world (I sometimes even throw in re-enactments for dramatic effect). They are all my nurse heroes.
Teamwork and Resilience
A healthcare setting would not be able to function without the core of teamwork and resilience brought by nurse heroes. By building this, it makes the hospital or facility run smoothly. I have even witnessed firsthand how it makes patients feel at ease. Many patients in the recovery area tend to exclaim:
“Everybody seems so nice here!”
“This seems like a friendly place to work!”
“I was so nervous about this surgery, but you guys made me feel so comfortable.”
My own personaI favorite was one day in the recovery area, I was discharging a patient. She stood up and quickly took my hands in hers. I got nervous and asked if she was dizzy. Instead of answering my question, she gave me a kiss on the cheek and said that I, along with everybody else who had taken care of her that day, was wonderful. She even said we were all “linda”(Spanish for “beautiful”). I immediately knew working as a team with my nurse heroes is what gave her that warm feeling.
I guess one can say I feel a lot differently these days than I did even one year ago. I have more pride, more confidence, and very importantly for me...I know I have a strong support system from my “nurse heroes.”
...I guess I’m not “alone” anymore after all.