I really do love being a nurse
As a nurse, I have a variety of skills and tasks that fill my days. Seldom is my day NOT full. And if it isn’t, well, you can count on being sent home due to low census. There is ALWAYS something to do. There was one day when the computer charting and documenting and scanning and troubleshooting became way overwhelming and the server failed. A coworker started complaining about how was she going to do her work without the computer. I quipped that I was going to actually spend some time with my patients.
Don’t get me wrong. I really like computers. I love spending my free time on them and reading, playing games, connecting with acquaintances and family. Oh. And blogging. Blogging is cool too. But when it comes to patient care, they can make the interaction impersonal. My winning and charming personality can only do so much when I haul a mobile computer in front of you to ask you (for the elebentieth time) your name and date of birth and then, like groceries, I scan you and each of your meds. It is my duty and job to explain to you each medication, its purpose, side effects, and answer any questions. I am happy to do so, but it’s complicated by the fact that you either are not interested, have already heard this, or have other needs. That, or my other patients are also calling me. It’s convenient in this technological age that there are pocket or mobile hospital based phone systems so that I can carry a means of communication with me everywhere…even the bathroom. I get it. It’s convenient when I need to call someone or am waiting for a doctor to call back.
It’s a better day when I can perform all of these tasks effectively, efficiently, yet safely while not neglecting the part that makes me a nurse. The caring. When I can take the time to hold your hand. Be your confidante, pray with you, sing to you, it is a good day. Caring and comforting is integral to who I am as a person, and what makes me a capable nurse. Now, I have learned skills that allow me to perform duties of a registered nurse, sure, but I don’t feel that these tools of the trade are complete without the arsenal of compassion I hold.
It’s what I love about my job. I learn everyday and the techniques I will learn only fortify my practice, but, and this is just how I feel about it, my vocation is the foundation for the occupation. Does that make sense?
So. I am working tomorrow, which is Easter. I will take time to spend with my patients because they won’t be home for the occasion either. I will hold their hand. I will possibly pray with them or sing with them. Whatever interventions I implement, it will be with love, caring, and passion…the kind that fires and motivates me to be in this field.
I joked that I would attend the sunrise service on the unit tomorrow. But, maybe it won’t be a joke. Someone there is missing a real sunrise service.
In all, I hope that all of my patients, despite being hospitalized, will have a good day. And if I have any part in making that happen, then I will have a good day, too.