I remember when I was a new nurse graduate, every day I went to work and the entire car ride I would pray “just don’t kill anyone.” That was seriously my goal. I didn’t want to harm another person or let my negligence hurt another human being in my care. Every night when I left work I was so thankful and relieved that I had made it through the day without causing any damage! I would think about all the times throughout the day I could have easily made a mistake and caused injury to a mother or a baby and then pray again that I didn’t!
Our profession is too important for us to just go to work and think of it as any other job. Everyone knows that a nurse’s primary goal is to care. We care for our patients and we care for their families. Our profession is made up of this vast network of nurses, nurses who are all striving to care for so many different people in so many different ways.
Someone, somewhere, is watching and learning from you.
I once met a nurse who was teaching neonatal resuscitation in Peru. She watched as a premature baby was born, and the nurse’s left the baby’s head uncovered. She scrambled to make a makeshift hat with gauze. She covered the preemie’s head with the gauze and then a glove, while teaching the nurses about the importance of keeping a baby—especially a preemie baby—warm. When she went back two years later, the head nurse showed her a pile of hats that women in the city had knitted for the all the babies delivered at that hospital. I love thinking about that story because that is the epitome of what we do every day as a nurse…we care, we act, we intervene and we teach.
We should be so proud of our profession.
It doesn’t matter where you work, or what you do. It doesn’t matter what kind of people you take care of or what your job title is. You are a nurse. Let that guide you to help other people, in whatever sense is right for you. Help your patients, help your colleagues, help a community, help a population. Be a change agent.
If you are going to work and think of it as any other job, take a moment to think about why you chose to be a nurse. Some people say they went into nursing because of the money, but that can’t be what keeps them in nursing! You aren’t charging and taking care of an entire unit for that extra dollar an hour! Think about the first time you took care of a patient on your own, think about the time in your life when you were unsure of your abilities and you were just praying not to kill someone!
I feel so strongly about obstetrics, because the majority of us are women. We have to help each other. We have to empower nurses around us. The next time on your shift, say an encouraging word to a patient or a colleague. Don’t be the person that spreads negativity. Be the person that inspires nurses around you to do amazing things, because that’s what we do…amazing things.
Make it your purpose to teach someone something. Encourage someone to go back to school, or to get certified. Encourage someone to be a better nurse. Most importantly, remember that we all have the potential for greatness.
Until my next delivery ❤
Previously published on NurseTogether.