I just had a personal breakthrough with regards to my struggle with nursing and I thought that I should share it in case someone suffers in the same fashion as I do.
Nursing is a profession filled with A's.
I can't believe it took me this long to realize this truth in nursing. I guess I have had always placed our profession in this very high pedestal. Maybe it's because of my early years in nursing school where they tell you that nursing is a calling. Maybe it's because of those years in student clinicals where my preceptor advises us to be professional. Or maybe, maybe, I'm just one of those stupid nurses. Whatever the reason is, I finally realized that nursing just like any other fields has its fair share of A's. Scratch that, I won't be surprised if we have higher rates of A's compared to other fields given our nature of work.
As someone who doesn't fit the majority's idea of a good professional nurse, as someone who wasn't called to be a nurse, I have always had this guilt and/or shame, and/or insecurity about myself and me being a nurse. I have been very critical of myself. I always try to review my conduct and strive to be that good nurse. I don't always manage to do it right but still I try as hard as my body could allow. Unfortunately, some things are just really difficult for me to do such as turning the other cheek and smiling all throughout my shift. Then, there's my battle with depression, a battle which no matter how you make it through the winning side will forever brand me as a bad nurse. Oh, I can never shake of that feeling that I will never good enough for nursing.
Yes, I've thought, maybe right from the start before the darkness, that I am not good enough for nursing. Add that to my high regard of the profession, and there you have it, the root to my problem of staying in nursing. I should stop thinking of nurses as people who are better than others. I can't believe it took me this many paragraphs but I guess the bottom line is, (this is embarassing, I've heard this since I was a young) nobody is perfect.
I'm still in the mood to type so I'll continue this post about my journey to this great discovery.
I've been in this terrible job situation wherein not only my professional behavior is tested but my religiousness(?) too. I'm raised Christian and we were taught to be nice to people even our enemies. It's been very, very hard. I'm actually starting to develop Type 2 DM from all the stress eating. Anyway, I wasn't doing a good job at being a good nurse. If someone was being mean to me, you can't totally see my anger on my face. I can't reason it out with my "resting b**** face". I was really mad. Unfortunately, or rather fortunately, my nursing education will be haunting me and I will find myself working and helping these people even if I don't want to have anything to do with them. Oh, I have felt the never-going-to-be-good-enough-for-nursing on a worse level. I felt worse because unlike other people, who are in the same working situation as I am, I didn't feel stressed because someone was being mean to me but, rather, I felt stressed that I couldn't retaliate to the full extent of what I see is just. This has led to more surfacing of my actual b**** face and I have been called up on it. (Not really. I had to bring myself in.) I was being unprofessional and this has made me really guilty/ashamed/insecure as a nurse.
Today, I had a difference of opinion with another nurse. Recently, I've been just agreeing to people because I learned my lesson and my place in the food chain but this time I stood my ground. The other nurse finally let me had my way but I could see the annoyance in the agreement. You'd think that I'm just imagining things and I that have grown to think negatively of these people given my working experience with them but, no. She became distant to me afterwards. She actually did this thing that I'm guilty of doing too. She apologized to the patient regarding my stand. Except I do it when there's nobody else. She did it while I was there. This made me ask the question (at least mentally) why. This wasn't the first time we had a difference in opinion on patient care. The first time, I was the one to bow, and that's it. I didn't even felt enough to show my actual b**** face. I couldn't even remember what it is about. She, however, continued to be distant until the end of my shift. This has really bothered me. Here I was feeling bad about harboring ill feelings to people who are mean to me. but there is that person who is not refraining from showing her disdain towards me. How could she be like that? Didn't they have the Nursing as a Profession taught to them in class? I can understand being born as an emotional person but, as someone who was called up for showing anger to those are mean to me, I can't understand how someone can be so affected by linen. Maybe it was because I disagreed with her in front of the patient but the patient isn't even fully conscious. Anyway, she kept distant, and I kept wondering. Then, I remembered that I've asked this question before. In all those years in nursing school/college and in all those years or experience, did they seriously never learned about professionalism? I just find it hard to believe. I think they did learn it because the other nurse that I had an actual "talk" with just works with me as if nothing has happened. So why? Why? That's when I realized that maybe they are just A's. They know that they should do better but still they chose to do those sad things.
I can't believe it took me this long. I should have known. Nurses can be such A's. Nursing has a lot of A's. Why am I surprised? I am nurse and technically I can be classified as an A too. I mean if I could enter nursing as an A then others can enter too. Nursing isn't some profession that is A-proof. That thing about being a calling, and about being "angels", that's just something that nursing wants it to be. However, nursing is just composed of human beings who have the full capacity of being A's. I guess the other lesson here is, don't feel too guilty for being an A. Chances are your colleagues are A's too. Maybe they're just a different kind of A from you.
You think you could do better at being a professional? Are you feeling bad that you can't be better at handling working relationships? Cut yourself some slack. If you have become the A at work, don't worry. You are not alone. There's plenty of us. Of course the high road is for you/us to be more professional and not let our A-ness affect our work but if you can't, don't be so hard on yourself. To be an A is to be human. (Sorry, I have to add this. If you are turning into an A, please seek help and still strive to be a better person. Sorry about that. That totally ruins the tone of my post. I can't help it. I was brainwashed at nursing school and lurking at allnurses.com)
Are you disappointed at yourself for being hater? You can't expect yourself to be all happy if you're surrounded by A's. It's normal for humans to feel uncomfortable when there are stressors. If you can keep you're cool despite all the alphabets in nursing then congratulations. You have moved on a higher plain. Please be so kind and give us weaker beings tips. I could call you a saint or Buddha. That or you have completely died inside.