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The Night The Fire Died

Nurses   (7,745 Views 56 Comments)
by The_Optimist The_Optimist (Member)

4 Articles; 16,181 Profile Views; 176 Posts

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You had such high hopes, truly you did. You were going to be such a difference in your nursing world. You had such wonderful examples (Florence Nightingale et al) to base your aspirations and model your path. The excitement was barely contained in you; you were brimming with it.

There were moments in Nursing school, that you felt you, just couldn't do it, but you braced yourself and ploughed on, until you came to that special day after you passed your NCLEX exam and officially became a Nurse. God be praised! You had done it, a full fledged nurse you had become.

The next part was finding that job that you so desperately wanted to make a difference in, that Johnson commercial you had seen about becoming the difference, yes, yes, it was close at hand. And then you got that first job, how happy you were; tears of joy streaming down your face, your smile as bright as sunshine, your spirit soaring in happiness, nothing could quell this feeling. It was your moment. And what a glorious moment it was!

You loved your job so very much; everyone was warm and welcoming. And you were determined to make that difference. But wait! You noticed some startling occurrences that who knows, may very easily have been rectified, or due to the busyness of the unit, had possibly been overlooked. So in the most polite and non-threatening way possible, you offer a suggestion very placatingly. In as much as you had the ear of your supervisor and colleagues, you still did not want your words misconstrued or feathers ruffled. Plus, it was an assignment you would willingly volunteer for and offered to. How wrong you were...

That was when the change began.

It was subtle at first and you couldn't be sure, if your gut feelings were right or playing tricks on you, so subtle it was. You heard snippets of conversation that were swiftly concluded when you came within hearing distance or even sight. But again, you were so unsure. You started wondering if your mind was making things up or if there truly was a slow ganging up against you. Until that one night you stepped into the break room and there was a sudden stop in the conversation, there was eye contact made with you and as one, the group looked away; the tension was palpable.

And then you knew.

Inasmuch as you had tried to offer your suggestion with the best intent and the best way possible, it had been misconstrued. Somehow, you had overstepped your boundaries. And it didn't get any better from that night-no, it was a swift steady decline from then on. It never got better and you never recovered from it. Like a moth, you had flown too close to the flames and got burned. The next job you got, you forgot all about making a difference, you wanted no repetition of the previous occurrence. You did not have any fight left in you.

It is you, I see every time I stop by your unit, smiling wanly and being unobtrusive. You follow the crowd and forget about making a difference.Your thoughts, "It.Just.Is.Not.Worth.It".

Signed,

Anonymous

This is purely fictional...or is it? Please read and critique.

Edited by Joe V

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330 Posts; 4,983 Profile Views

Very nicely done. It could use some formatting support in certain places; however the concept, message, and feelings you were trying to convey came across very well!

As a student, I have similar fears about when I start my nursing career should things go according to plan. I hear so many stories on AN, coupled with casual conversation with friends already practicing, about how the political and ‘schoolyard antics’ just utterly saps their motivation and drive for the underlying tenants of nursing.

I want to say that I will be immune to such things when my time comes. However, I know from my previous career in software engineering that these sorts of things often take a life of their own and sweep through a workplace like some sort of supernatural hurricane. I just pray I can learn to discern the difference when to speak up and when to just sigh and walk on.

Thanks OP for sharing this. It was thought provoking and something I will continue to mentally ‘chew’ on. If this is based in something in your own life, I wish you well in finding growth, peace, and resolution from it.

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elprup has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN.

1,005 Posts; 21,714 Profile Views

Truth.

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2 Articles; 11,114 Posts; 14,061 Profile Views

I think it's appalling that newbies will take it for gospel, or worse, use it as an excuse. So not true.

 

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing ... and be nothing. ~ Elbert Hubbard

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Kunzieo has 7 years experience.

199 Posts; 5,650 Profile Views

That's what we're worried about these days? What the newbies will think?

I thought it was interesting, clearly written, and introspective. (And, yes, GrnTea, a little indulgent, but what self-reflective piece isn't? :) )

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OCNRN63 is a RN and specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.

5,978 Posts; 53,762 Profile Views

I think it's appalling that newbies will take it for gospel, or worse, use it as an excuse. So not true.

 

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing ... and be nothing. ~ Elbert Hubbard

​Agreed.

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CloudySue has 6 years experience and specializes in Pediatric Private Duty; Camp Nursing.

710 Posts; 14,886 Profile Views

I have had this happen not in my nursing career, but in other facets of my life. By the time I got to nursing, I knew to keep my big mouth shut. Don't make waves. Don't call attention to yourself. You'll live to regret it, even w the best intentions. It's not who I am, so it was a hard lesson to learn in life.

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2 Articles; 11,114 Posts; 14,061 Profile Views

Don't make waves? As the mariners say, "If you're not making waves, you're not moving forward." See "be nothing," above.

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manusko has 4 years experience and specializes in critcal care, CRNA.

610 Posts; 11,076 Profile Views

The nurse who says nothing allows their patient to be in harms way. Never question an order and eventually you will allow great harm to occur.

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imintrouble has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in LTC Rehab Med/Surg.

2,398 Posts; 51,046 Profile Views

I suspect the fire was never there in the first place.

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