Getting to the Heart of the Nursing Profession...
Shift one out of two and my alarm sounds at 4:45 a.m. It’s time to start the morning pep talk.
“Alright, you can do this. It is time to get up and out of bed. ”
As tempting as it is to hit the snooze button, the allure of a hot cup of coffee before work is more enticing. It is time to clock in and get reports started … time to assess what kind of day I am about to have.
I am a nurse. And for my fellow nurses out there, the job definitely has its good days and bad days. Some days it seems that the bad days are just on repeat, but we keep on going. So how did we end up here? What motivates us to keep showing up to work day after day?
Nursing, to some, is a calling. It is a career that was almost predestined for those who chose to follow that deep, heartfelt lead. It is the career that only makes sense to those called to pursue this noble profession.
Maybe it was during that high school careers class where you got to see first-hand what goes on in a nursing home and you were deeply moved to impact a life in someone’s final years. Or maybe you have a family member in the medical field that offered logical and sound advice that propelled you to seek out this nursing impulse.
To others, it is a career with flexibility in scheduling and/or financial stability. It is a career choice that always allows you to find good solid work and begs you to see some interesting things along the way. These medical options create their motivation for nursing.
So what is it about nursing that motivates you to walk back into that stressful assignment, clocking in for that sixth night shift in a row — the situation that you promised yourself you would not sign up for during the next schedule? Or will you — can you — maintain composure during the most intense code you have had in your nursing career?
During my time as a nurse, I have learned many things about myself and the way I handle life and what is thrown at me. I am the expert, the “on-call” triage nurse to my family members — they trust my knowledge and experience. It is secretly a rush trying to diagnose my family members with an ailment. (“Yes, you definitely need to get a lab panel drawn.” Or, “One time I had a patient with similar symptoms and…”) Can you relate? Surely we have medical degrees by now, right? Even our experience adds to this cachet we carry around in the title of RN.
No turning back
Even if I had to do it all over again … yes, I am referring to nursing school AND the dreaded NCLEX … I would still pursue this career. I am constantly motivated to do better and to treat my patients with dignity and true compassion in their times of need. And as you are knee-deep in personal protective equipment with call lights going off, telemetry monitors beeping, and that altered mental status patient that keeps calling your name, you make lasting connections with your co-workers which is an added bonus. All of this combines to make for great stories during your next shift. Somehow the stressful moments build lifelong relationships and continued motivation to learn and serve.
Throughout the ups and downs of the job, no matter what the nurse’s personal motivation is that day, they have a mindset. Some days are easier than others, but the focus is the same for each nurse. Wake up, grab your third cup of coffee, put your scrubs on, and just handle it.
No matter the struggle of the daily task, staying motivated to do the best job possible is critical. It’s what makes nursing not just a job, but a career.
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About the Author: Mike Michl, RN is a guest writer for Flexwise Health. Her fulltime job and passion is being an emergency room RN working in a busy metropolitan hospital.