2007 Winning Essay

2007 A Nurse I Am Scholarship winners were asked to answer the following: In 500 words or less, please tell us what "A Nurse I Am" meant to you.

Anitha Saravanan

College of Dupage

Update 2/28/2008

As a winner of the scholarship last year, I feel proud to write another essay on my thoughts about the DVD and the way it has affected my life. In my previous essay I had mentioned that I could write a separate essay on my visits to Dr. Counts. So I would like to write here about my visit or visits to Dr. Counts.

It was sometime in December 2007 as I drove to Mt. Morris, a small rural community in Pennsylvania. Little did I expect to see and hear what I did. As I stopped by a store and a gas station to ask directions, anyone and everyone knew Dr. Counts. Everyone was glad to help me. As I walked in to the small primary health center little nervous, a warm welcome awaited me. A smiling Dr. Counts invited me to her “Home” and welcomed me to be her guest. I watched her assess her patients, write lab work, counsel them and prescribe medications like any nurse practitioner but with a difference…The difference I mean was compassion. I saw something unique in her. I felt she “cared” for her patients and treated him/her as a whole person. All her patients who came in were so relaxed and knew they could tell Dr. Counts anything that happened in their lives. Such was their comfort level with Dr. Counts.

Yet another aspect that amazed me was her excellent organization and her computer savvy approach. All the medical records are maintained electronically and updated frequently. In Mt. Morris where most residents are farmers and few even have Internet access, it is extraordinary that the primary care center has all these facilities.

Since Dec. 2007, I have visited Dr. Counts twice and she continues to amaze me and inspire me in my long-term goal to be a nurse practitioner. I have a photo of her on my bookshelf and whenever I pass by there is a new energy wave in me called “the Dr. Counts wave” that keeps me going.
She always keeps saying to me, “Anitha you need to go on…”

I thank Cherokee for connecting me to Dr. Counts.

Winning Essay

Do you know what the DVD A Nurse I Am meant to me? Sure! This photo will tell you more…Yes. I visited Dr. Counts, after watching the DVD. I did not know her before. But there was a strong urge in me to visit her and God paved me a path. I met her on Jan 12 at Mt. Morris and was fortunate to spend a few hours with her. I can write a separate essay on my visit. However, for now I am going to tell more about the DVD.

As I watched the three great nurses on and off their jobs, I felt a mixture of emotions run through me. I was amazed at the hard work, commitment and empathy they all had while caring for their patients. I was astounded by the look of satisfaction in the faces of their patients when these nurses cared for them. I felt happy that there are nurses who go an extra mile to extend a warn touch to their patients. I also saw something very different in them form other people – their eyes carried love, their lips carried smiles, and their hands carried assurance. With these little tools they carried, they cured the patients from within, as a whole person.

Dr. Counts, the Nurse Practitioner at the primary care facility at Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania influenced me to such an extent that I visited her when I traveled to Pennsylvania. When I learned more about her through the Internet I was at a loss of words. What impressed me most was that she waived her salary to keep the Primary Care Center open in 2002. As I watched her treat the patients with expertise and compassion, she instantly became my role model. She will inspire me to continue with my long-term ambition of becoming a nurse practitioner to serve rural communities.

Mrs. Bush, the nurse manager is a classic example of a great leader in the nursing profession. I wish I could work under her so I can learn to be the best advocate for my patients. I was impressed when she mentioned that she is scared to retire because she cannot stop helping people. Nurses like Ms. Bush are not only patients’ caretakers but also role models for students like me.

Mr. Wilkinson, the oncology nurse taught me what it means to do service through sacrifice. He has taught me never to get lost in the beeps and flips of the busy career while caring for the patients because nursing means more than just giving medications. His care for the kids who are struggling to spend their last days in peace and his empathy towards their parents touched me. My eyes were filled with tears when he spoke about his feelings of helplessness when it comes to death.

I shall keep this treasurable DVD with me and watch it over and over till such time that I feel that I have done all that I can to be a great nurse!!

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