I want to commend all the mamas out there that are balancing work life with raising children. While my life can get busy, it is often with much more freedom. I also want to acknowledge all the unconventional moms out there. They are the ones that get over looked on this day. Some have made that decision by choice while others painfully deal with infertility.
So, raise your glass for every woman (and man) with or without child who has cared for, tended to, encouraged or mentored young people. Look around, you are surrounded by them.
Now, I'd like to introduce you to Carole. She is both a mom and a grandmother and she has nurtured countless babies and children through her twenty-eight year career as a nurse. She is newly retired, with some funny stories and words of wisdom.
What have you loved most about nursing?
I felt a real sense of concern for the patients and families I came into contact with. Many times, diagnoses were life altering. It was a privilege to make someone's experience a little easier to cope with during such difficult times.
Tell me your biggest pet peeves about nursing.
Micro managing! In my experience, management was filled with the nurses who couldn't handle the pressures of floor nursing. Many times their nursing practice was inadequate and now their responsibilities were to manage others without adequate skills and training.
What brings you back into balance?
My family, my co-workers, my friends; all of the people with whom I surround myself bring me back to reality on most days. :-)
Tell me your craziest story as a nurse.
My first job as an RN was in a pediatric department of a community hospital. I received my 14 year-old patient post cardiac catheterization. He was groggy, as I introduced myself, connected monitors, and assembled gauze in the event of a femoral arterial blow. He immediately told me that he needed to use the rest room. I reminded him that he had to lie flat for two more hours, showed him the urinal and explained how he could use it in his present position. He was having none of that, and would wait until he was able to get up.
Every 15 minutes, I took his vitals, and assessed his groin for oozing or the development of a hematoma. He continued to sleep. During the fourth checked, I noticed he WAS developing a hematoma. In fact, as I palpated it gently, it got larger and larger. I turned on the lights to see what size gauze I might need to apply a pressure dressing, and realized, that he didn't in fact have a hematoma developing, I had been palpating his penis. Holy cow. I don't know if I was more relieved or embarrassed. I guess I was his favorite nurse!
How has it been transitioning out of nursing, since there is such a strong identity wrapped up in being a nurse?
Good question. I'm still figuring that one out. I really did find my identity, first as a Mom of three and then as an RN for children. To not feel that daily sense of being needed is taking some adjusting. I will volunteer at the cancer camp this summer as an RN and will always love babysitting family, so I think I'm finding a new identity that still slightly resembles nursing.
What sage advice would you give to new grads today?
You are there to serve your patients and their families. You're NOT in the role of nurse to service your own needs. It's a very honorable job. Remember, that patient in the bed needs you. Think of him/her as your own Mother, Father, sister, brother or friend. Always give them the dignity they deserve.