Posted in nursing - it's my job

we are always exposed

I was sitting at the chiropractor ‘ s office when I walked in and noticed a young girl appearing to study. Immediately I recognized that she was a student nurse and giggled to myself as I remember the feeling of bringing a textbook everywhere I went a mere 12 years ago.

The tech that was working on her began to ask all sorts of questions.  She is a little older and we’ll quite nosy. She asked her if she would ever travel to another country or Africa for a mission trip. The girl carelessly responded with a “no, I don’t want to get ebola or some other disease.”

Her response did something to me that was quite unexpected.  Anger and frustration stirred up inside the pit of my stomach.

We become nurses to take care of patients that ate ill. We are very often exposed to contagious diseases every single day.  Patients come in with a cough and end up having tuberculosis. All the while you were exposed until the diagnosis became a suspicion in anyone’s mind. Yes we still have tuberculosis in this country and no it is not a third world country disease.

We take an oath to take care of our patients with the hidden message to put our patients needs before our own. While performing CAR gastric juices has sprayed on myself and my coworkers before. Without flinching we continue on without fear of the unknown.

Much like a condom can break during intercourse a glove can break during a procedure. It does not happen often but I have had it happen. We are never completely .

We vow to be good Samaritans and pull over if we see a car accident or someone in trouble. I wondered what would she do if a random stranger was found on the street not breathing and in need of resuscitation.  Would she pass him by without so much as a second glance in his direction simply because she did not have a barrier from his mouth to hers.

We are nurses. We take care of patients and protect ourselves from what we can. I hope this young girl reconsider her statement and the reasons that she wants to be a nurse. You do not need to travel across oceans to be exposed to the various illnesses that could harm you. They are right here in our own back yard.

To this student nurse I will say to you. Think Long and thing hard about your career choice. Consider whether you are capable of placing the patient’s needs before your very own. If the fear of the unknown and the illnesses that can easily be spread comes to mind before the love, compassion and duty of a nurse first, then change careers as this one might not be for you. You will in fact save yourself from a lifetime of unhappiness if you do.

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Author:

I am a wife of ten years, mom of three, Nurse and student! My household is quite chaotic and busy. With a six year old going on sixteen. we shall call her "Sassy", a four year old, who is stubborn as a mule, she shall be called " mini me", and a one year old, we will call "Buddy". Our girls do Ballet, and our son, well he is all boy! Very curious and always getting in to something. When we found out we were having a boy i laughed and said " god must have known we needed a little less diva in our life," Ha, little boys are quite the handful! I love my kids with all of my heart, and i love my job too! As a nurse leader i get to see many sides to healthcare and help encourage and guide new nurses. I love taking care of patients and being able to have grown up talk and then come home to my babies. The house is usually chaotic with lots of tantrums, and messes, but i wouldn't change it for a bit. On the rare occasion that i am able to have some spare time to myself, i like to read, bake and decorate cakes, and take pictures of my kiddos. Time to myself is rare so i decided to start this blog to have a creative outlet and connect with other working moms, who might be going through the same situations as myself. I hope you enjoy my thoughts and stories as a mom, student, wife and Nurse! These stories will range from Diapers and tutus to meetings and boardrooms! and everything that falls in between. Enjoy and thanks for visiting my site.

2 thoughts on “we are always exposed

  1. The medical profession, from EMS to Highly-trained specialists, is no place for someone who isn’t willing to expose themselves to unknown risks for the well-being of other people. In all the field though, nobody has the risks that nurses do. Prolonged, intimate exposure to patients from the moment I drop them off the bus in the ER, to the minute they’re released, and everywhere in between, there’s a nurse. I honestly have no idea how you do it, and I hope this girl you saw either comes to grips with what her chosen profession will ask of her, or get the hell out before her squeamishness in the face of risk costs someone.

    1. Me too! Unfortunately I see this way to often when conducting interviews with new nurses. These of course being nurses that I do not hire. Maybe they would enjoy a clinical IT position in which there is no patient contact. Hmmm

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