2016 Winning Essay

The 2016 A Nurse I Am Scholarship winners were asked to address the following:
As nurses continually interact with sick people, they may develop "compassion fatigue" over time and become hardened to the reality of difficulty and pain in patients' lives.
(1) Describe how one of the nurses in the "A Nurse I Am" videos overcame this challenge.
(2) How did their view of their patients help them maintain their compassion?
(3) Explain how you plan to maintain compassion in your nursing work over the long term.

Nicole Melton

Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing

Nursing is hard, it's definitely a commitment that one must give their all to. However, it is also a profession that is rewarding, cherishable, and unbelievably memorable. Nursing is my entity, I feel it is my reason for existence. We were all put on this earth to make a difference. I want to make a difference in the lives of everyone I meet. I want so badly to heal my patients, I want all of their troubles and worries to fade away. I know it's impossible to heal everyone and everything, and as nurses that's something we need to realize. There are things we can heal, and there are things we simply have to leave in the hands of God. If we don't realize this, then we will likely develop "compassion fatigue", and spend a lot of time and effort trying to fix things that we cannot.

All four of the nurses in the, "A Nurse I Am" videos were amazing role models. The nurse that stood out to me the most in these videos was, Bob Wilkinson, RN. Bob Wilkinson is a phenomenal nurse and he is absolutely dedicated to his patients. As a pediatric oncology nurse, Bob has a lot of tough situations that he is faced with. He speaks very passionately about the emotions he has about his patients, and it is truly remarkable. Bob sees these patients for who they are, not the disease that they are faced with. Whenever Bob is faced with a struggle, he seeks God for answers. Sometimes Bob even offers his own life to God in order to save the life of his patient. Bob doesn't have all of the answers, no nurse does. However, he is there with his patients the whole way. Through thick and thin, Bob is there with them. It isn't about the hospital room, the machines, the medications, the procedures; it is about the person sitting in the hospital bed, the person on the machine, the person taking the medications, the person having the procedures. It's about them, and I just hope and pray that more and more nurses can become like Bob; because he treats these patients like family and holds them dear to his heart. This is the love of a true nurse, and this man is a great representation of what it a true nurse is supposed to be.

I have been through many situations in my nursing school journey. I am in my third year of nursing school and I have seen many things. I have seen happy things and I have seen very detrimental things, like patients that have died in front of me. These situations have shaped me into the nursing student that I am today. Everyone has different views of what compassion is. To me, compassion is knowing what your patient is feeling, being able to look into their eyes and know that they are hurting. It is about the warm and gentle touch that you can offer to them, it is about the healing presence that you can give to them. I am going to be there for them and I am going to help them hold onto their hope, strength, and commitment for getting better. I will assure my patients know that they are my number one priority. I will always encourage, I will always try to heal, and I will always give my all.

Nursing is a passion for me, not a profession. It takes a very special person to become a nurse. The nurses in the "A Nurse I Am" videos are perfect examples of great nurses. I hope that eventually all nurses can become like the ones in these videos, because all patients deserve these type of nurses. Nurses are heroes, lovers, fighters, and believers. Nurses save many lives, love many people, fight for many lives, and believe in many miracles. Nursing is a journey that has many routes. It is a journey that I am glad to be a part of and it is definitely a journey that is worth my while. Being smart and having good grades doesn't make a good nurse, it's the compassion and endearing gratitude that a nurse holds within. Nursing isn't going to be easy, it's not always going to be happy. However, it is the reason why I am here on this Earth and it is my one chance to make a difference.

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