2007 Winning Essay
So a little update about me…. I passed my boards shortly after graduation a year ago. The test shut off at 75 questions and I’m pretty sure my heart skipped a beat!
I started working in August 2007 at Children’s Hospital of Orange County on the pediatric med/surg department. The organization is wonderful, and their mission of nurturing children is right up my alley. I latched on to a few mentors that really helped me transition from student, to new nurse, to actually feeling like I know what I’m doing. I’m working the night shift, and really enjoy it. Might as well stick with it while I’m still young and can live on less sleep! Some of the patients and families I’ve met in my short 10 months here having been very special, touching, challenging, and fulfilling.
It’s been important to me to continue learning and growing everyday (which is easy as a new RN because there are always new and interesting diagnosis and treatments at my busy hospital). In order to always feel like I’m advancing in my profession I have gotten involved in a few committees here at CHOC. These have really helped me get to know my fellow nurses, see the inside workings of my organization, and feel like I’m continually challenging and improving my knowledge, skills, and confidence as a nurse.
It was the week before my fist year finals when my pharmacology instructor announced that instead of a lecture we would be viewing an “inspirational video.” I was all prepared to sit back, relax, and let my tired mind have a break before hitting the books again. Little did I know that this “Kleenex required film” would remind me that sometimes it was okay to leave laundry undone for a few extra days if it meant I could learn something more about patient care. “ A Nurse I Am” was truly an inspiration that came at a most valuable time.
I can easily look out a year from now and see myself at graduation. I can imagine getting my first job, and stepping foot for the first time into a hospital as an employee. But often in the midst of stress and busyness I can forget the big picture. This film reminded me that becoming a registered nurse was more than passing state boards, starting IV’s, and performing routine dressing changes. I learned that sometimes the most important thing I can do for my patients is to make a child laugh, and allow parents to cry. I was reminded too that taking a few extra minutes educating my patients on even the most basic things like diet and exercise can make a world of difference to them. Often as a student I find myself so caught up in seeking out skills I start to see my patients as “ the one with the NG tube” or “post-op knee day 1”. When I take the time during a clinical rotation to talk to my patient, find out his fears and pains, his likes and dislikes I can leave at the end of the day knowing that I did my best in aiding that patient to a happier, healthier lifestyle and healing process. Remembering the big picture was the key I needed to motivate me to finish off those last few clinical days and tests with perseverance, joy, and faith.
Becoming a nurse is a challenge I hold dear to my heart. Nursing is a career that I can let my true self, my values of caring and loving, my desire for healing and helping, and my passion for people be a part of daily life. I was thrilled and enlightened to watch a video of people doing just that with their daily assignments and responsibilities. “ A Nurse I Am” allowed the excitement for the next hospital day build up in me once again. I will remember the way those extraordinary nurses had touched each special patient every time I step through a patient’s door. They are there to be cared for, listened to, helped, and loved. Being a nursing student is something I will always remember, becoming a nurse is something that I will always treasure.