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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Needles, Meds, and Blood- Oh My!

I never thought I would be a nurse. Never. Ever. When I was growing up I wanted to be a librarian or a cashier; mainly because they got to check things out and made wonderful beeping noises all day while they did it-ha! Honestly, that only lasted until about age 8, then I really didn't think about it. I guess I figured that the right profession would just come to me one day. However, I did have a toy medical kit when I was young and I remember having lots of fun with the stethoscope; it was a little muffled if you spoke right into it so I would pretend I was ordering at McDonalds. I had a big imagination.

During my junior year of high school, I realized that I actually needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my life as college degree choices were looming before me. I knew for SURE that I did not want to be in the medical world because I HATED needles. If I didn't like needles, I couldn't imagine poking anyone else. That being the case, I began to look for other options. 

My interests were mainly in the arts (sewing,crafting,cooking,etc) but deep down all I could see myself doing was being a wife and mother someday. But I decided that just in case I didn't find the "right guy", I should probably have a back up plan. I looked into home economics at multiple colleges but was not very impressed. I loved working with kids so I started looking in that direction. Seeing as I didn't want to be anywhere on the medical side of things, I decided that becoming a "Child Life Specialist" was the route for me. 

Basically a child life specialist is someone who counsels kids about different procedures and treatments while they are in the hospital. I would pretty much be a medical counselor; finding ways to help children understand what was happening/being done to their bodies (here is a link to more information about Child Life Specialists). Content with my choice, I proceeded to find the best college to suit my decision. 

Last day of my Pediatrics rotation in nursing school
In the spring of my senior year, I saw a documentary about Romanian orphans. The show documented how the majority of Romanian orphanages were overrun with orphans. The problem was so bad that the kids were not getting enough physical touch every day and therefore suffered developmental problems as they grew. Some babies were lucky to have a small amount of touch when their  bottle was propped in their crib, or when they had their diaper changed once daily. Needless to say, the show touch my heart and I hatched a plan. 

Many countries are closed to the Bible and visitors in general, however they welcome medical aid. My plan was to become a nurse so that I might get into such closed countries and help those suffering while also spreading God's Word. I had decided that although I didn't like the "blood and guts" side of nursing, I could stomach it if that meant that I could sneak my way around closed doors in the world. Due to my change of heart, I then also decided to switch universities a month before school started (sorry Mom!) but everything worked out.

Once I conquered nursing school, I worked for a year on a Medical-Surgical unit at a local hospital. I learned a lot, but mostly, I learned how I wanted to find a different area of nursing to pursue. I am now a Medical Supervisor (nurse) at a plasma clinic and love the daytime shifts and decreased stress level. My heart for overseas aid is still burning for an opportunity to go help the suffering in another country and deep down I still would rather be a stay-at-home momma to my little baby girl, but for now, I am still a nurse-outside the home :) 
Last day of clinicals for nursing school

I love the idea of nursing; caring for the vulnerable and suffering, advocating for wishes that would otherwise go unheard, and striving to ensure that all needs are met while you, the nurse, are in charge for a shift. I still have residual effects from "med-surg/night shift burnout", but I am slowly coming out of that. Nursing is a very challenging profession that requires a lot of stamina- emotionally, mentally, and physically. There are times where I wish that I still had the passion for nursing like when I walked across the stage to receive my diploma, but at this stage in my life all I can think about is how I want to stay home with my baby. My recent endeavors to reach my ultimate mommy goal has started with my other passion- sewing. 

From a young age I loved to sew and make things myself. A couple years ago I delved into card making and had many friends and family tell me I should sell them. I am not the business type and the idea of starting my own business made me very nervous, to say the least. I continued to sew gifts for family and friends and kept hearing comments about selling my creations. I was flattered but still balked at the idea of promoting myself. After having my daughter nearly a year ago and having difficulty with finding a family friendly job as well as finding a babysitter that we were comfortable with, my husband and I began truly searching for ways for me to be able to stay home. Once again, selling my handmade items was suggested. 

This time I had an entire plan to back me and up so I took the "plunge" and opened a store on Etsy (which is a very gentle way of introducing anyone to the business world, just by the way). So far I haven't sold much other than custom orders but I am excited for what it can become. I have learned that patience truly is a virtue, so I am waiting to see what God has in mind for my store and my profession.


PS: If you are interested in becoming a nurse - GO FOR IT! The schooling might be tough, but it is definitely doable. If you have questions, feel free to ask and I will try my best to answer them. If you are already a nurse but feel like you are drowning in the newness of it all, definitely check out the "Note to New Grads" post by Erica (who, by the way, is an awesome nurse with a passion for what she does- its so encouraging!). There will always be a need for nurses, so if you do decide to pursue that field, be the best you can be; learn all you can so that you can give the best care possible to your patients. 

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