Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Of Dewy Mornings and Impatient Patients

I am a morning person. It is the only time of day I can sit quietly in content, or feel the gentle breeze against my face when I go jogging. Early morning hospital duties and last-minute readings however, are constant interruptions to this rather peaceful habit of mine.

For someone who has not taken the Nursing profession to heart, I was not at all prepared to give up the easy delights of sleeping till late morning, or having some time to lounge about and watch television. I thought to myself: if I do decide to give those up, what do I stand to gain? Higher grades, or maybe a glowing recommendation? Unable to commit, this left me reluctant to face the rigors of Nursing school. But days spent learning the ropes in the hospital, of endless auditing and vital signs taking, of hurried lunches, or irate patients uttering unreasonable demands seems to have, if anything, found its way into a corner of my heart. Though I wouldn’t dream of feigning affection during an indwelling catheter termination or maybe a teeth-gritting skin test, I have come to understand and empathize with my patients.

They are human beings in various stages of illness, and as part of the health care team, I am there to assist in bringing them back to wellness (no matter how puny a student nurse’s contributions may be). I’ve learned to look past blunt and sometimes uncalled for remarks, because beneath that, I know they are simply afraid. Sickness manages to rob people of their vitality, and sometimes the sense of dread in them permeates into my guts. You can’t be a Nurse if you have no strength to empathize with someone who has cancer, or have the patience to deal with a squirming toddler who is terrified of a thermometer, or have the fortitude of going through a sixteen hour shift and still attend to the needs of your own family afterward.

Whoever said “Nursing is easy” was lying. The reality of the situation is that the profession is among the most underpaid and overworked in our country. But money matters aside, the real value of the profession is providing care to the sick in spite of dismal conditions.

I’ve learned to be a little bit stronger and, applying the concepts and principles taught in school, have the constancy to monitor my grandmother’s health, and be more patient of my two year old nephew’s tantrums, as I am aware that this is expected in their developmental stage. I’ve learned to clean bedpans and sputum cups, and I’ve learned to tell patients like it is, in order to orient them to the reality of the situation without sugar-coating. I’ve learned to do tasks that could otherwise be considered nauseating or even scary, but I do them anyway because it is necessary.

I guess those lazy mornings would never lose its appeal to me, but I don’t mind forgoing the extra hour of sleep, so long as what I do is fulfilling- never mind the side glances from some patients.

1 comment:

Man of the Rose said...

of sutures and futures, i admire your love & patience with your profession. as what we've discussed in my blog before, find ways to get out of philippines and find a better horizon where nurses are highly paid...mwah!


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