When I was a young girl I dreamed of being a nurse. I wrote an essay in third grade about my dream job. The idea of helping others and wearing crisp white uniforms was my idea of the perfect life.
Getting a degree would be a huge challenge for me as a child with no parents being raised by retired grandparents. With the help of grants, student loans and working as a nurses aid I made it happen. These circumstances made it even more sweet when that BSN was placed in my hand.
This newly minted nurse was over the moon excited to accept a position on the high risk antepartum unit of a large prestigious hospital in the Texas medical center in Houston. I learned so much at that first job. (Don’t we all truly learn to be a nurse at our first job?) Life changes and unexpected events carried me through an adventure of many different jobs and specialties. Learning and becoming more knowledgeable and capable along the way. I just assumed it would always get better and better!
Reality however along the way things happen that could easily crush your spirit if you let them. Any position that puts you in a large group of mostly women can be challenging. I think these bumps and bruises to my ego made me stronger and wiser. But now nearly 30 years into this morass with healed wounds and callused ego I am struggling. Where is that joy that the younger me felt to put on the fresh white coat? Are patient’s less grateful, feeling empowered with their Google knowledge? It’s difficult to put my finger on the problem but I know I cannot be the only disenchanted nurse in wonderland.
I still give all I have to each and every patient that I see however it is difficult to pull water from a well that is not replenished. What is the source of refreshing that well? Education? self-care? I honestly do not know. I will push forward in search of that fountainhead.