Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Real vs. Fantasy Nurse

I think there is a point in every nursing student or perhaps graduate nurse's career where one comes to the realization that nursing is not what they thought it was going to be. This realization is not much different from the fantasy-turned-reality awakenings that occur in other stages of life: that getting your drivers liscence does not necessarily equal unlimited freedom, or that first love does always not mean happily-ever-after.
Like with most careers, I doubt many people who decide they want to be nurses have ever had a proper introduction to what nursing entails. My idea of nursing was more fantasy than reality based. I read Atonement by Ian McEwan, and swooned over Briony taking care of injured soldiers. And I read lots of Cherry Ames books, and even Chicken Soup for the Nurses Soul. I fantasized about myself selfishly slaving by the bedside, selfishly assisting sick and needy patients in their recovery. And usually (I am ashamed to admit) my fantasies included wearing a starched white uniform and a white nursing cap, like the pictures I had seen of my mother when she was in nursing school.
I guess my real reality awakening occured my first year of nursing school, when all the nurses that knew my mother discouraged me into being a nurse. And my second probably came during my preceptorship, when I worked for eight weeks on a surgical floor. A lot of the nurses seemed tired and jaded and that was a little dissapointing.
I hope that I can always find new ways to be excited and reinterested in my career. I know there is lots of nurses who still love their work, and can't wait to be back to the bedside. I would like to know their secret.
school is soon...the summer is over, and I can't wait until fourth year!! I am almost finished! Nursing school went by so fast, like a blur. Scary stuff.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


My boyfriend is going away to Osgoode Law School in Toronto in ten days. His degree will take three years to finish. In February, I have to do a ten week independent clinical, and since I can do it anywhere nationally or internationally I would like to go to Toronto and stay with my boyfriend.

I am from Newfoundland, which is a large island approximately 2129 kilometres, or 1323 miles away from Toronto. For any readers who have never heard of Newfoundland, it is Canada's most easterly and newest province. We are known for our whales, icebergs, unique irish/english dialect, and friendliness. Although St. John's is technically a city, there are no sky-scraper buildings or big, noisy crowds. There is no smog, and you can see a sky full of stars on a clear night. Like most small towns, everyone pretty much knows everyone else.

Newfoundland is completely different from Toronto, which is Canada's most populated city. It is busy, crowded, and full of smog. However, it is one of the safest cities in North America, and has lots of different festivals and entrainment venues.

I think nursing is going to be completely different in a big, urban city. When I visited Toronto, the people there seemed rushed, cold, and unfriendly. Here in Newfoundland, patients often treat you like you are family. It's easy to find some common ground ("You're from Corner Brook? Do you know Anne Smith from out that way?"). On the plus side, I know I am going to get tons of experience. And I know it's time to learn how to be independent (I am twenty-two years old, afterall). And I don't know that I can stand being apart from my boyfriend for three years.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nurses are NOT angels

So I go back to school in a couple of weeks. I am actually kind of excited, tired of working all the nursing home shifts. After graduating, most people are happy to never have to study ever again. I think that I am definitely going to miss it. This semester looks pretty good so far; I have no classes on Friday! Which means a long weekend, every week.

Anyways, I was reading an interesting article written by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario that was published in the Registered Nurse Journal. The author discussed how we should put an end to nurses being labeled angels. Being called an angel sounds like a compliment. But I am not a good nurse because I have angelic virtue, I am a good nurse because I studied hard in nursing school and because I care about my work. Similarily, I did not choose nursing because I had a higher calling to do so, I chose nursing because I love working with and helping other people. Does the steretype of an angelic nurse encourage males to enter the nursing profession? Probably not.