Why I Decided To Become A Nurse
The road to becoming a nurse has been a strange one. I can’t say that it has ever really been a single event or even some significant event. Growing up my grandmother was an aide. I would go to work with her sometimes and I knew I didn’t want to do what she was doing. My aunt on the other side of my family was an RN. For much of my younger childhood she worked in the OR. It wasn’t until she became a home health nurse and had my cousins and I out for a week in the summer that nursing ever even crossed my mind. She gave us a bunch of medical supplies and let us set up a make shift hospital. We taped IV tubing to one another, put lotion on my aunt’s legs and scraped it off with a tongue depressor. It is one of my favorite memories from childhood but then I became a teenager and had all the answers and being a nurse was not one of them.
Nursing didn’t cross my mind again until after I started to college to get my degree in social work. I knew I wanted to help people because I had been helped. At one time in my life I had a drug problem and I was living in a homeless shelter. My family had to give me some tough love. That experience changed my entire life and I wanted to give back to people, to help people because someone helped me and helped change my life. During the time I was in school to get a degree in social work, I lived in a small town with a volunteer fire department. It didn’t take long for me to join the ladies auxiliary but I wanted in the truck and to go on calls. The fire calls were wild but it was the medical calls and the MVA’s that I loved to go on. It seemed like every time I got in the car I would come up on an accident scene. I decided I would bargain with God in a way. I told God that if I was supposed to change my major to allow me to go on a call where I would know for sure. That same night I went on the call that changed things.
It was the middle of the night and I knew I was going to a rollover accident. A man, his wife and their three children were in a car. The man was driving and he was drunk. He and the wife had on their seat belt but none of the kids did and the 5 year old son was ejected from the car that he ran up on the embankment of the highway and the car landed on top of the boy 1.5 centimeters from his diaphragm. The boy lived. The dad went to jail and I knew that I was supposed to help people in this way not sitting behind a desk handing out a voucher for a meal during holiday time. I changed my major from arts to science because I was going to be a paramedic. Two weeks into A&P I my professor asked me to stay after class. He was a retired vet. After having me explain why I wanted to become a paramedic, he suggested I become a nurse. For me, I wasn’t so sure and then my grandmother, the one who was an aide, the one who had every heart surgery and medication she could have was sick and at the end of her life.
We were close. It was hard to see the person who took care of everyone else not being able to care for herself. By this time I had already gotten my C.N.A. because if I was going to change my major again I needed to be sure. That last day that her and I had together not only solidified my choice to become a nurse but it impacted what type of nurse I want to become. That last day we had a conversation where she told me she wanted me to be a nurse and that she wanted me to do something with my life but it was all the things I did for her that day, to comfort her and make her time here comfortable that made me know that while the adrenaline of the ER or ICU sounds like what I was looking for, hospice is my calling. Working as an aide with hospice patients made me know even more. I decided to become a nurse when I quit denying my calling.