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When you’re a kid, the number one question adults love to ask you is what you want to be when you grow up. I’m sure I said something like a princess or an astronaut, but I definitely didn’t say nurse. I figured that out in middle school. Now that I am pursuing it in college, I have culminated my personal philosophy of what nursing is to me, and how I chose it as my path. A particular experience led me to nursing, and I know that it is the right job for me.
When I was in middle school, my sister had major back surgery, and the recovery was a long and hard process. A few weeks post-surgery, my sister fainted, and we called 911. They checked her vitals, and said she should go to the hospital to be checked out. I was looking at my sister, and I could tell something was off. I was only 12, so my dad wasn’t exactly taking my observations to heart when I told him I thought something was up. My parents said they would drive her, and the paramedics left. As soon as my sister got up to get ready to leave, she walked to my dad and passed out in his arms. I knew something had been off, and I was right. It made me realize soon after that I wanted to be in the medical field, and nursing was the path I wanted most. I wanted to be able to help my sister, and nursing is the perfect career for me, because I get to help people that need it, but also challenge myself academically at the same time.
Nurses should have certain core values that make them the best people for the job. A nurse should have an inclination to help others, respect for all people, and a deep interest in the human: anatomy and psyche. An inclination to help others is one of the key parts of being a nurse, and it is something I have always had. I wanted to help my sister when she couldn’t help herself, I wanted to do Orientation last summer to help new students, in particular nursing students, feel comfortable in a new environment and feel confident in themselves. Being a nurse often means putting others before yourself, and that makes helping others a core value. As a nurse, you also have to have respect for all people. “Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well and in all settings” (ICN, 2002). Anyone can come into a hospital, a doctor’s office, or a clinic, and the nurse’s job is to help them, no matter who they are. Every patient is a priority, and they all must be treated equally. That is a key value of being a nurse. Having an interest in human anatomy and the human psyche is one of the major core values of being a nurse as well. As a medical professional, deep interest in anatomy is a given. The career revolves around it. But, as a nurse, the human psyche comes into play a lot more, because a big part of our job is to facilitate to the patient’s mental well-being. We are there not only to make sure they are physically healthy or healing, but also mentally healthy or healing. To me, that’s what makes nursing the only choice. As someone dealing with anxiety, having someone there to help me through harder moments is essential, and so I feel like I have to give what I get, and nursing is my way of doing that.
As a nurse, I hope to be able to help people get through difficult times in their lives. I want to be a surgical nurse, but I want to be with my patient from beginning to end, pre-op to post-op. Surgery is a tough and scary process, and I want my patient to know that I am there for them, and that I will take care of them. My vision for myself as a nurse is working at Mass General in the surgical wing, helping patients physically and mentally through their medical journey. I want them to feel safe and comfortable, and I want to make sure they get the care they need.
What I will strive for every day I work as a nurse is patient satisfaction and comfortability. What matters to me most is that my patients feel heard, healed, and happy. I want to provide them the comfort of knowing that someone is rooting for them. I want to be the best nurse I can be, which means giving my all to my education and in the future, giving my all to my career. Staying up to date on research and always educating myself when new techniques and ways of practice come to light that might be completely different from what I know is critical to me. If there is a better way to take care of my patients, then I need to educate myself about it. So, all in all, patient satisfaction is truly my biggest goal as a nurse.
Every day as a nurse will be different, and I think that is part of what excites me most. The nursing philosophy to me is all about the patient, and advocating for them. “It is up to the nurse to be an advocate for patients, especially in situations in which they cannot speak for themselves” (Yoost & Crawford, 2016). This also means putting my patient’s values and beliefs before my own, because the patient is what matters. Nursing is a difficult job, but with such a beautiful reward. Nurses get to witness healing and be a huge part in creating it, and personally, I cannot wait to be a part of that.
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