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.

Deborah J. Wigg

Nazareth College

The video A Nurse I Am really touched me as a nurse, and as a human being. I felt that it truly portrayed a positive image for nursing, and this means a great deal to me. I am an RN, and have been for 18 ½ years. I have my associate’s degree, and am now in the final months of my RN to BS program. This is something I have worked a long time for, and an accomplishment I do not take lightly. The nurses in the video also did not take what they do lightly. Their care and concern for their patients was enormously evident. It was obvious to me the love they had for their jobs. This is the same love that I have for my job, and my role as an RN.

The video actually brought tears to my eyes as I could so relate to the bond between the patients and their caregivers. I believe in that kind of special relationship. It is the reason I do what I do. I am an oncology nurse, and have been for most of my career. I have left it twice, but missed it so much I went back. It is where I presently work. I love cancer patients. It can be a very difficult environment to work in. We deal with a devastating disease, and often lose our patients way before their time. In that same breath, I say to you how equally rewarding it is. I feel that what I do matters, even when the outcome is bad. I can make a difference in my small corner of the world.

What touched me about the video was how the nurses treated the patients as human beings, and not just as “patients”. There was hand holding, touching, humor, sincerity and honesty. They were all very involved in the person, and not just carrying out a task. They really got to know them. I feel this is very important, and something I strive to do. I think this is a big part of why I get along so well with my patients. I discuss all aspects of their lives with them, not just the sick part. They are whole people, and I believe in treating them as such. Like it was mentioned in the video, you need to treat people, as you would like yourself to be treated. I don’t ever want to be treated as just another number. It is hard enough for my patients to handle the fact that they have cancer. I want to make them feel better, not worse. I want to make them smile and laugh, and I do whenever possible.

Another important item brought up in the video was that of communication. I also believe this to be a key to giving good nursing care. Patients want to be informed and to feel that they are part of their own care. It is therefore imperative for nurses to be educated, and to be able to communicate this knowledge to their patients. This is why I am continuing my education for my BS in nursing. I also am an oncology certified nurse, and must continue to learn in my field to maintain this. This does make me a better nurse, and person. I also feel it is important to be able to teach on a level that my patients understand. I need to hear them tell me that they truly heard what I said. This helps to build a trusting relationship that is also significant in a good nurse-patient relationship. In conclusion, the video was a confirmation of what I strive to be. That is a good nurse. One who is compassionate, caring, educated, trustworthy, and just as human as anybody else. Nursing is a tough but rewarding profession. There are time constraints on nurses, and I feel it at my own job. I have found that it is not always the amount of time spent with a patient, but the quality of that time. Sometimes it only takes a smile and a hug. Let them know you care, and the simplest things make a difference. It is that difference which makes me feel good at the end of the day. I wouldn’t trade being a nurse for anything.

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