Are you prepared for the shock of your life?

As you are traveling along your nursing school journey, you are undoubtedly having conversations with your classmates that start with the question, “Why do you want to be a nurse?” or “What drew you to nursing?”

The reasons people choose such a demanding vocation vary from person to person, and range from the pragmatic (as was the case with my friend, a single mom, who needed a stable job that would enable her to provide for her family) to the altruistic…those who get into nursing to help others.

Many pre-nursing students embark on this journey with only the most basic idea of what a nurse actually does on any given day. I, for one, had visions of starting IVs, holding hands and changing dressings. I had no idea what being responsible for the care of a critically ill patient would entail, the level of vigilance it would require, or the amount of stamina required to stay “ON” for 12 hours straight. I had no idea how much information I would be required to know in order to do my job safely, no inkling of how much gosh-darn paperwork I’d have to fill out, or how alone you can feel when you’re by yourself, bagging a patient who suddenly starts having a grand mal seizure. I had no concept of what it would be like to watch someone die, how rewarding it would be to see someone walking the halls when I thought they were “for sure” going to die, or how much I would want to hug my coworkers at the end of the day. It’s a crazy job with more highs and lows in one shift than most people experience in a lifetime.

Probably the biggest shock for me as a new-grad was just how dang hard the job is. As a student, I’d say I was exposed to about 25% of what a nurse does…so however demanding you think it is as a student, go ahead and quadruple that and you might not be in for the shock of your life. You’ll still be shocked, but hopefully you’ll at least know it’s coming! So, with that said, I leave you with this beautiful piece of artwork I created 😉  It inspires me when I am feeling depleted by the demands of my job…and reminds me why I chose nursing in the first place…

Be safe out there!

ICU Nursing

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