This week marks National Nurses Week, a week dedicated to recognizing the tremendous work nurses countrywide are putting in.
In honor of Nurses Week, here at Soliant we are celebrating by sharing with you a small group of nurses who have not only been inspiring their patients, but who have also been inspiring others far and wide through their blogs.
Today our inspiring blogging nurse is the Nurse Teacher; she has been a Registered Nurse since 1998. After taking the opportunity to move into teaching in the clinical arena with nursing students in all levels of their education in 2007, she then graduated with a Masters in Nursing Education in 2014 and looks forward to continuing her career educating the next generation of nursing professionals.
Tell us a little bit about your background. What led you into nursing and how long have you been a nurse?
Growing up, especially in high school, I loved the sciences and especially animals. For a very long time I wanted to be a veterinarian, but was very intimidated by all the years of schooling. As I started college, I was still trying to find my niche. Many of the students in my biology classes were pre-nursing students. Although my mom was a nurse, it never really occurred to me, but I soon began to realize it was the perfect blend of science and caring. So, I went on to get my BSN from Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY, graduating in 1998.
What do you find the most satisfying thing about your profession?
The most satisfying thing about my profession in knowing you’ve made a real difference in someone’s life. Often that impact is not known or even intentional, but is so powerful to them. I love people and getting to know people and truly helping them in a time of need. For example, I took care of an employee’s husband during his final days. I was there for her and her family, just as I would be for any patient – I was just “doing my job”. But for years to come, every time I saw her, she would thank me profusely for how kind I was to her at that difficult time. It’s the little things that mean so much.
And the most frustrating?
The most frustrating aspect of my profession is being stuck in the middle – the nurse wants to do what is right for her patient, but may not have the resources, support or guts to make it happen. Also, the fact that the bedside nurse is not truly seen for their value in patient care. So much is expected of the nurse in the trenches, but not a lot of support or input into their daily decisions and role.
Is there anything that stands out as the most memorable moment in your career?
Most of my memorable moments are the stories of crazy nursing adventures and sad tales told among nursing friends. But, one of the most memorable moments I like to share is about a young patient who came to us in liver failure due to a possible ingestion. He clearly was not a transplant candidate, however was critically ill and not likely to survive the next 48 hours. I remember being in the room when the physicians told the mother the news. As I held her hand, hugged her and comforted her as she got mad, cried and then watched her rally to be strong for her son. Well, youth can never be underestimated and he did survive – literally a miracle as he was basically on the verge of death for a few days. I was the nurse who transferred him to the floor with a new chance at life. His mom thanked me profusely and the lesson to never give up hope was forever written in my heart!
What inspired you to start blogging?
I actually started blogging a little bit by accident. While working on my Master’s degree, I had to do a project for my Internet in Education class. We had to use the internet to solve a problem or create a learning activity. Well, I had been teaching clinicals for over five years and each semester, I was trying to find ways to share resources with my students that I had found on the internet. So for my project, I created a small blog where I “stored” resources. I could then refer my students to the site each semester. Little did I know, it was becoming quite popular and being shared among other nursing students and over time The Nurse Teacher site was born!
Is there one piece of advice you would give to nurses at the start of their nursing career?
Wow – this is a tough one…. if I had to pick one piece of advice – remember to care! If we make decisions from a place of caring, we are likely to make the best decisions for our patients. Treat them like a family member you love and you will do the right thing. I always say, if you want to fix health care, we need to put the CARE back in it!