2009 Winning Essay

2009 A Nurse I Am Scholarship winners were asked to answer the following: In 750 words or less, pick two nurses in the film "A Nurse I Am" and tell how they take their jobs to the next level in order to impact the lives of their patients. In light of a nursing shortage that has the potential to affect staffing levels and the quality of care delivered, how will you rise to the challenge to meet the needs of your patients?

Wendy Nojor-Jose

Glendale Community College

Few are the people who choose to take the road less-traveled. Even fewer are those who opt to walk along the narrow paths of self-denial and sacrifice for the benefit of others. But for those who have chosen to do so, theirs is a sense of wisdom, tranquility and self-actualization words will fall short of describing. One of these people is Mona Counts.

Mona has brought the profession to a higher notch with her deeply-rooted sense to and genuine care for her patients. She said that, “Health is not the absence of disease. It is function here.” These are her words pertaining to the health condition of the Appalachian community which she chose to immerse herself into and serve. Her love for the nursing profession and the well-being of her patients transcend the corners of her primary care clinic. Mona literally and figuratively chose to take the road less-travelled. Her efforts to reach out and drive through the suburbs of Appalachia to check on her patients, is a noble thing to do. For others, running a primary care clinic translates to dollars in the coffers. However, earning profit is the least of her priorities. In fact, her getting a second mortgage from her own personal home to augment the resources of her clinic and her community is a remarkable sacrifice. Talk about charity.

It is sad to say, but it is a biting reality, that many nurses get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the fast-paced environment they work in, shifting patient care to task-orientation instead. Mona humanized patient care by knowing her community inside-out. Each patient is not just a medical record number having a list of symptoms. Instead, Mona knew that each one has a story to tell and circumstances surrounding him, which, in one way or another, have bearing on his well-being. Her approach explicitly manifests nursing’s adaptation model. She assesses the patient on a personal level, taking into consideration the factors surrounding his health issues and ways of coping. Thus, in the process of disease prevention or treatment, a stronger nurse-patient relationship is formed.

Robert Wilkinson hails from Mona’s breed of compassionate and dedicated nurses. I remember reading that when you work for pediatrics, you do not only have the patient to take care of. You have an entourage of people who come along with the patient – the child’s family and neighborhood – and it is a package deal. Bob has shown remarkable sense of compassion and empathy dealing with people going through pain physically and emotionally. He has seen life at its best and worst having worked for Pediatrics-Oncology unit. However seemingly insurmountable the emotional load his work entails, Bob embraces his job with a sense of perseverance to at least make each day a better one for a sick child.

In the female-dominated nursing profession, having a male nurse in the unit is a boon. Having Bob as a nurse is a million times better. One may ask: How can one face death and dying, especially that of young ones? It might have taken a toll on Bob for sure. However, Bob’s firm grip of reality that he is not just a nurse in the hospital but a parent, a playmate, a sounding board and counselor as well, sets him apart from the rest.

Social and economic changes pose a threat to the delivery of health care. As a nursing student, I have always believed that the nursing profession is a very dynamic field that requires continuous learning of both skills and theories. In fact, in one of the nursing journals I read, the nursing profession is “high-tech and high-touch.” It involves touching lives. Remembering my PIE (problem, intervention, evaluation) charting, I developed my own documentation to address this. The problem is staff shortage affecting delivery of health care an my intervention is to make use of technology, systems and processes while maintaining compassion and integrity in the performance of my duty as a nurse. If I can be half the nurse Mona and Bob are, I will be beyond elated. And when the time comes to evaluate my set interventions, it is my hope that a positive outcome is in the offing. For the interim, I live each day with the thought that A Nurse I Am: an instrument to better humanity, one patient at a time.

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