When it comes to choosing a specialty, the majority of us are trying to pick up the one which will give us financial freedom. However, when you are inspired with the profession, you might not look at the financial aspect and mainly focus on what you like to do or what kind of contribution you can bring into the field. People who are thinking about their contribution are often talented scientists, honest police officers or lawyers and usually, they are successful in what they are doing because they made the right choice. And there are numerous such specialties which require talent or a strong will to help and nursing is among them. In my essay, I decided to answer the question what inspired me to become a nurse. And I can say for sure that there are numerous reasons, but the main was evident. A lot of people are still keep asking me why do you want to be a nurse, and they are getting the same answer. It was well-known disease – cancer. From the attitude to it my nursing path began it way, and I have started to research and to learn more about this specialty.
So, why do I want to be a nurse who helps patients with cancer? There are a lot of specialized nurses who have various talents; however, nurses who are working with people who have cancer are different. They are aimed not only to provide needed by the patient treatment but also to support this person, share with the person the will to live, help his or her relatives to overcome depressed thoughts about the future.
Nurses who are taking care of cancer patients are real angels and not looking on hard emotional conditions surrounding them they are trying to stay positive and to make the life of their patients different.
When we are speaking about cancer, we imagine a bold pale person who is dying from that disease. However, in most cases, it is not true. The person, who fights cancer, is strong morally. He or she is trying to be positive no matter how hard the path, and help not only themselves to fight, but also others who support them. These people probably ones who now how high the cost of life and how easy to lose it. And supporting them is a great choice when you want your occupation to be connected with such an important thing.
First, I thought about this career path when I saw the film The Bucket List (2007) by talented producer Rob Reiner. It was the story of two different men who had a fatal form of cancer. They created the list of things they wanted to do before they die, and followed it. This film shows how the view of a person changes when he or she hears the diagnosis, and how the will to life can modify the disease flow. Of course, the end of the story was unexpected, and one of the main heroes died, but the second got a chance for a new life. I think this film is about how hard circumstances change the life of people, their thoughts, and relationships.
Another reason for nursing career path choice was different fundraising campaigns I see online each day, on Facebook people from different countries asking for the help. They are looking for money to fight the disease and each day we are losing beautiful individuals who didn’t have money to overcome cancer. These stories are hard to read, and because I am not able to help financially these people, I decided to support them in another way, to become a nurse and take care and support them in a professional way.
The first step besides reading and researching nursing programs was visiting medical center which helps kids with cancer and their parents. It was the hardest thing for me in my life, to see such sweet beautiful and smart children who from their birth are fighting a disease. They are just kids, who want to go to school, have friends and spend time in the park with their parents. They are dreaming of becoming healthy and living like other kids, enjoying sports and spending time with their parents. For Christmas, they wish health to everyone surrounding them. Here children of 10-12 years old are older than the majority of adults, because they do understand how much the life costs and do have the will to live; I saw it in their eyes.
I was just a volunteer who helped with simple day to day tasks at the center. I saw smiling nurses who used toys, candies and other things to help kids to go through treatment procedures: hours under medicine droppers, pricks and pills intake, different analysis and examinations – everything was carried out with love and special attention to each small person here.
The next step in my future nursing path was visiting adults’ cancer center to help there. Here are older people fighting with this illness. And this place is also full of positive people who support each other. Nurses here are tired but ready to help. Each day they help people medically and psychologically. And this is a great job because without this support patients won’t be successful in their fight. It is great to be surrounded by kindhearted people, and I want to become a part of this community because I want to share with all these people my will to life.
I want to be a nurse who is helping to fight with disease; I want to support people who are in a bad situation and need support and stimulation to fight. I want to be a nurse who inspires others, helps them to overcome depression.
I want to be a nurse who is professional and able to prescribed treatment, reduce pain, save life and much more. I want to be a nurse who helps in one way or another. I want to be a nurse because I love making the world different and friendly to anyone.
Note: This article is written on the request of one of my students.
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2008 A Nurse I Am Scholarship winners were asked to answer the following: In 750 words or less, how did "A Nurse I Am"Â change or enhance your perception of nursing as a career? Using one of the nurses on the film as a role model, explain why someone should pursue nursing as a career.
University of Pennsylvania
I am now in my junior year of Nursing school at Penn. I am the Vice President of the Minorities in Nursing Organization at Penn and am applying for membership to Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing. I have survived Med-Surg and am now onto my obstetrics and pediatric clinical rotations. I am in the midst of looking for nursing externships for the coming summer, which has not proven to be easy. Because of the current recession, it seems that several hospitals have not been able to support their nursing externship programs. Therefore, it is extra competitive to get a spot this year. However, fortunately, I have a couple interviews lined up. To prepare, I have made appointments at Career Services on campus to go through mock interviews with a career counselor. The career counselor has been truly helpful and I feel much more prepared for my interviews, even though I am usually a nervous wreck for them.
On campus, I am now working as a Research Assistant in the School of Nursing's Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research. It involves a lot of reading, critiquing, coding, and literature searches. I have learned a lot of valuable knowledge regarding the components of nursing research.
This summer, I was fortunate to become involved with the Office of Minority Health, HHS on their A Healthy Baby Begins With You campaign to bridge the racial gap in infant mortality. I was certified as a Preconception Health Peer Educator and returned to campus to hold training sessions in order to certify my peers as Preconception Peer Educators as well. We are now in the process of holding a health fair to reach the West Philadelphia community and disperse important preconception health messages. I look forward to a nursing externship, if I am lucky enough to get a spot, so that when it comes time to apply for RN positions after graduation, I can return to the hospital where I worked the summer before.
A question that I have been struggling with for quite some time is, “What exactly is a nurse?” I have been a nursing student for almost 2 years now and with all the preconceived notions of bedpans, impacted bowels, and burnout, quite frankly, sometimes I am both scared and unsure of what I may have gotten myself into. But there seems to be something that keeps me holding on, something that tells me that there’s more to it than what everyone else sees nursing to be, a key ingredient to the essence of nursing that everyone seems to forget. I’m still in the process of figuring out exactly what that is, but this 62-minute documentary has surely guided me in the right direction in my journey to finding the answer.
In my opinion, nurses aren’t angels. They don’t go hand in hand with hearts and rainbows. Nursing is about providing care, yes, but that does not entail that nurses’ only purpose is to be a compassionate hand to hold on to. Nursing integrates science and care. Nurses take the knowledge they have gained from their education as well as their experience and apply it each and every day, all while, being there to comfort patients in their times of need, whether what is needed is an IV, pain medication, or an ear that will listen. Like it said in the documentary, a nurse takes advantage of opportunities, faces daily challenges, and most importantly in my eyes, is a powerful advocate for the patient. Watching this video enlightened me to the most significant responsibilities of a nurse. I’ve realized that a nurse is the liaison between the doctor and the patient. They ensure that the patient fully understands what is happening to them in their most vulnerable states. Nurses are responsible for patient education and for making sure the patient understands what the doctor tells them. Ardis Bush said just a few words that really clarified what being a nurse is all about. She said that nurses treat the whole person, someone with feelings, someone who may cry – not just the diagnosis. In other words, doctors cure, but nurses heal. Ardis really helped me understand the difference between a doctor and a nurse. Nursing facilitates more meaningful patient interaction. I don’t want my patients to be just a statistic. I want to remember them and how strong they were emotionally when they weren’t strong physically. This video showed me that being a nurse will allow me to do just that.
Watching Ardis Bush in the documentary and reading about her accomplishments made me proud to be a nursing student because I now have the opportunity to be as innovative and compassionate as she is. Ardis is the epitome of a nurse who integrates science and caring into her daily life. She found a way to lower the rates of cardiopulmonary arrests on her unit as well as grant a dying man his last wish of being baptized. If anyone was to become a nurse, they should do so for the right reasons. Like Ardis said in the documentary, a nurse does not seek fame or fortune. However, what you do receive from nursing are intangible gifts, gifts that have no nominal worth. You receive the gift of knowing that at the end of the day, you will go home, and know that what you did all day at work truly mattered. Nursing will provide you with these invaluable gifts of life. Yes, you will be on your feet, battling a full bladder, enduring the consequences of rampant nursing shortage and dangerous staffing, but these things won’t seem to matter in the midst of it all because being a nurse will be eternally fulfilling.