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.