I woke up to the sound of my 3:15am alarm clock and hopped out of bed.
I did the usual - breakfast, coffee, boys - off to work.
My few steps into work that day were different.
It was my first day as a nurse.
ALONE as a nurse.
It was my first day off orientation.
As I walked into my unit, I had an overwhelming since of insecurity yet an odd feeling of confidence. Weird, I know.
I looked at my assignments for the day... four patients. Phew. Not bad.
Off I went on my nursing duties.
At one point, I was in a patient's room providing care. He had a procedure earlier in the day which required him to be on strict bed rest with a leg immobilizer and minimal ability of movement. He claimed he needed to use the urinal, but didn't know how he could alone. I offered help. I could tell in his crackling reply that he wanted to say no but he knew he couldn't do it alone.
While in the process of helping him, he questioned me...
"Why would you ever want to do your job?"
I said, "What?"
He repeated.. "Why would you ever want to do this? It's so humiliating."
How do I reply to that? Where do I begin?
I simply stated, "Because I get to help people in their sickest, most vulnerable situations. I apologize if it's uncomfortable for you. I completely understand. But I get to give back to our community. For some patients, we nurses are one of the last people in their lives to give hope and guidance. If I can reshape the outlook of your day or even put a smile on your face when you're at your weakest, I'll take that as a win."
He smiled and paused... "You are so right. They need more nurses like you."
I walked away with a needed piece of confidence from that dear man and the Lord above.
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." —Mahatma Ghandi