Friday, February 11, 2011

What the hell was I thinking, going back to school to become a nurse?

What the hell was I thinking, going back to school to become a nurse?
Yesterday, while in the library studying, I gazed out the window and thought to myself… is all of this hard work worth it?  Am I really doing the right thing?  Should I choose another path, maybe one that is easier, one that isn’t going to dictate my life for the next two years?

Then, during medical anthropology class the next day, we were discussing different types of healers from all over the world, and what they bring to the table… empathy, understanding, patience, and the ability to see a person as a whole, not just the parts.  The latter is something that seems to go mostly unrecognized in AMA medicine (American Medical Association).  And it reminds me…this is why I want to become a nurse.  I want to fill that missing link that we have in Western Medicine.  We have made outstanding advances in science and medicine…but these advances miss a vital part of healing, which is seeing the person as a whole, not just as individual parts that can be fixed by procedures or pharmaceuticals.  I hope to be a part of the new era of health care professionals that are filling that gap, and integrating old and new medicine. 

Of course, I am no dummy to the practical benefits of becoming a nurse: good pay, steady work, retirement and health care packages… however, the work is not easy.  As one of my professors said “a bad day of work for me is a just a bad day… for nurses, however, it’s a whole different story.” 
Being an R.N., I know, will be extremely challenging… as will the journey to get there. I will have ups and downs, and doubts for sure… but I know in my heart that this is the path that I am meant to be on.  The next two years will be a true test for me, the biggest challenge of my life thus far… emotionally and intellectually.  At this very moment, I feel ready for it…and at other times I think to myself “what the hell am I doing…. my life was so easy before.”  I have to remind myself that the easy path is never going to be the most fulfilling path… I think Mark Twain said it best:Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Ok, back to studying for me, thanks for reading!
I’d love to hear your comments!


lisa mcclure said...

I know that if I were sick or I lost a loved one you would be an awesome nurse to have!

LEAH said...

one of my favorite quotes is from the 4th Harry Potter book - "Are you going to do what is right, or what is easy?"

Anonymous said...

I agree that Western medicine is less inclined to look at the person as a whole and instead focuses on the specific.

From talking to other nurses, I've heard that many of the issues people come in for were preventable. So, I'm glad you'll be bringing people more awareness about how to take better care of themselves.

Liz said...

The students studying medicine are so overwhelmed with everything else they have to learn, it would be almost impossible to add more to the curriculum... as nurses, we are lucky to have a medical anthropology class so that we are made aware of all of the other ways of healing...hopefully we will continue to be aware of this after we get through 2 years of 12 hour clinical days in the hospital and 12 hour lecture days...stay tuned for more posts!!

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