Joyce Whitfield, RN
My passion for nursing was born when I was 10 years old. That is when my father died of a massive MI at the age of 41. I promised myself that some day I would become a nurse so I could prevent even just one little girl from growing up without a daddy. Three daughters, one divorce and thirty-five years later, I graduated from Riverside School of Professional Nursing at the age of 45. My fellow classmates were all much younger than I was. One had even gone to high school with my oldest daughter. But my dream still came true, and the reality of my passion began. I can remember having tears in my eyes as I hung my first Nitroglycerine drip. I am sure my preceptor thought I was scared to death, extremely stressed or just plain crazy. But I knew that I was on my way to fulfilling the promise of a 10 year old little girl.
I can’t say that all of my nursing experiences have been so moving. I don’t shed tears of joy over dirty bedpans, vomit clean up, intoxicated and belligerent adolescents or the all too familiar emergency room “frequent flier”. And it seems there are days that are solely dedicated to those types of patients. But I have shed tears of joy with a mother as her dehydrated, febrile infant finally responds to treatment; as a once thought to be infertile woman, discovers she is pregnant; as a mother finally receives a long awaited phone call from her son that has been shot in a tragic campus incident. Those times are my passion. That is why I love nursing.
On the other end of the spectrum, there have been days of grief and sadness. I have held the hand of an elderly woman as she peacefully takes her last breath; swaddled a lifeless toddler so a grieving mother could rock her one last time; compressed a chest so lifesaving medications could reach a dying heart. Those times are my passion. That is why I love nursing.
Every day I am afforded the privilege to practice nursing, I am proud and humbled to be a part of this profession. Do not misunderstand. The hours are horrible and the pay is never enough. But the rewards are plentiful. The human body is such a magnificent creation. For that 10-year-old little girl, possessing the knowledge, training and skill to aid in its healing is both an honor and a dream come true.
When I graduated from nursing school, a dear friend and Emergency Room physician gave me a copy of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. I want to share a most meaningful excerpt: “Ask yourself, if money was no concern and you had all the time and money in the world, what would you do? If you would still do what you currently do, then you are in dharma, because you have passion for what you do – you are expressing your unique talents.”
I have found my passion. Have you?
More Nursing Stories:Beth Chapman, RN
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