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.