Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Nursing and me

Today I was playing around on the computer and found a web site for nurses. It includes educational opportunities, discussion forums, questions and answers, and other great information. I have to say it caught my attention. I joined the site and quickly found myself responding to the posts of others. Once a nurse always a nurse I guess.

One discussion was from a student nurse working the summer on an OB unit. She was disenchanted and saddened because the hospital didn't have a program in place for families experiencing miscarriage or fetal demise. As a perinatal bereavement counselor and former OB nurse this made me sad. The hospitals I worked at all had some sort of plan for these families. The last one I was at had the best program including handmade clothes in every size to dress the babies in. The clothes were made and provided by a women's group from a church in Lake Arthur, Louisiana. I think every hospital should make certain every need of a patient and family should be met. This student is in a unique position to make a difference at the hospital. She can work up a bereavement plan and help institute it.

This post reminded of a young couple I cared for 22 years ago. I recently found this young mother on facebook. For several months I was her nurse when she was experiencing pre-term labor. She made it to term and delivered a beautiful baby girl named Robin. After Robin was born I took her to the nursery for her assessment. She couldn't stabilize her temperature. She went downhill by the minute. We worked so hard to save Robin, but she only lived for 16 hours. Beta Strep took that baby. I remember that baby girl like it was yesterday. It is good to be back in touch with Robin's mother.

Another discussion was from a student having difficulty concentrating on studying for her finals. I sent some words of wisdom as a former student and instructor. I hope this student is able to get past her anxiety and fear.

I identified closely with a question from an inactive nurse wanting to know how to get back in the field. I'm facing that decision. I allowed my license to go to inactive status when I was hurt. Big mistake. I am trying to decide now if I should take the lengthy refresher courses to reactivate my license knowing I can't work in a hospital setting anymore. I would like to do something. But, what?

Reading those posts reminded me so much of what I lost when I had to stop working. I loved being a nurse. It was a dream since childhood to become a nurse. I walked across the stage when I was 34 years old. I worked every year of my career in OB, Postpartum, Well Baby, Neonatal ICU and in community, staff, and student education. I served as a perinatal bereavement counselor. It was, and remains, one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.

I hope that most of my friends reading this blog have found professions they love. Dreams should never die. Sometimes they change, though. I began writing not long after I got hurt. It has become my new dream. It's almost as difficult as nursing school. I'm working on it.

I will go to my grave being proud of my nursing career. I will go to my grave loving being a nurse.

Spend some time doing what you love. Dream big and aim for that dream one step at a time.

Blessings to all.


Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Even if you don't take refresher courses to renew your nursing license, you can make a difference - you already are - on this site you found!

Find others, offer your advice, words of wisdom and encouragement - maybe look into sites like Demand Studios, Helium & Associated Content and write articles - Ehow or Web MD might be others that would pay you for your expertise and experience!

Once a nurse, always a nurse - but you can write too!

Just a thought.

Vivian Zabel said...

I taught for nearly 30 years and finally had to retire due to physical problems. My dreams changed. Now I write and head a small publishing company (traditional, not one that charges authors).

Yes, dreams do change, but dreaming shouldn't.

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

If you want to get back into nursing, but can't work in a hospital, how about being a school nurse?

Mindy Blanchard said...

beautiful post nona. Its good that you were able to connect with the students that needed your knowledge and experience to get them through. Dreams never die, they only lay dormant until its time for them to be realized or re-realized. Hugs and love to u.

Jan Rider Newman said...

God will guide you to what you need to do. So expect the unexpected! Lovely post. Thanks for sharing.

Alicia Dean said...

Lovely and moving post. Finding your passion is so rewarding. I've always greatly admired those in the nursing field. I know I couldn't handle the things they do.

Winona said...

I am humbled by your responses to this post. Pam, thanks for the contact info. Vivian, I remember meeting you at OWFI and I still have your card handy for that day I'm ready to query. Angie, I think I'm going to be helping with a new half-way house called "New Life House" for women starting new lives after years of addiction. I can do that just with my degree. Mindy, Jan, and Alicia thank your understanding about dreams.

Carol said...

What is it about nurses and writing? I still work full time but love writing fiction, couldn't be without my fantasy fix, even if I'm writing it myself. It's an escape thing. Not that I don't love the medicine end, been doing it for over 30 years-yup, older than dirt, that's me. Great post.

Lucille said...

Nona, you love to write. While you're writing the book of your choice, why not consider one designed to help the student of nursing with hints, tips, and advice? Why not consider writing another one with hints, tips, and advice for the mother who has lost a baby shortly after its birth? And you can also spend a short time each day or week visiting websites where you can leave a bit of help. Counseling would be a good choice for you since it seems it can be done from behind a desk.
Lucille who says we need more people in this world who shows mercy and helps others without asking for a large payment in return.

Jess said...

Nona, what a wonderful post! Absolutely beautiful and from the heart. I see so many ideas for novels, and so many article ideas in this post. I agree with Lucille... get that book together with tips and hints that will help new nurses. My mom was an LVN -- she did private duty all my life. She was always coming up with her own ways to make her patients feel better and more comfortable. The doctors and nurses joked that if a patient was near death, just put Jerry (mom) on the case and they'd live another ten years. She really did give 110%. It's all those extra things that they don't teach you in nursing school that matter--that "on-the-job-trainting' stuff. :)There's so much you can and on paper. Do it.

Winona said...

LUCILLE! How wonderful to hear from you. Thanks for the post and the good advice. You know, I have so focused on fiction that I hadn't thought of doing something for students or bereaved parents. I will work something up, then probably panic over submission, then find a market, then panic again, then finally take a plunge.

Jess, I can see now that I have several opportunities from this post.

Thanks and best wishes to everyone.

De'on Miller said...