I'm now a school nurse, left the ER behind, the stress, the shiftwork, the adrenalin behind. I work in a very exclusive private boarding school in the european alps. The kids naturally don't know how lucky they are.
One of the students told me the other day she wants to be a nurse. I asked her why and she said she thought myself and the other nurses really nice people. It's very flattering, but should I tell her the truth?
Should I tell her about the long hours, the poor pay, the shift work, abusive patients, abusive family, abusive colleagues, understaffed and dangerous wards.
I could do this, but then there is something else I should do...
I should tell her what it's like to receive a box of chocolates from the poorest patient in the ward. I could tell her what it's like to see a patient make the transition from deathly ill to walking out the front door, and all because of you.
I should tell her about the adrenalin rush as the paramedics race in with a critical trauma and the feeling of awe and pride as we all worked as a team to perform a life saving miracle. I should tell her what it's like to give someone a heart stopping medicine to revert their heart back to a normal rhythm (you always cross your fingers that the heart restarts).
But most of all I should tell her that if you like helping others because it's part of who you are, if it makes you smile when you help someone else, then go ahead and be nurse.