My mom is one of the most selfless people I know. As she took on the caregiver role for most of the older relatives in the family, I witnessed early on the world of doctors offices, surgeries, and medication regimens. From then on, I developed a natural inclining to help others in need and learn about the wonderful complexities of the body. I became intrigued of how each organ functioned and how illnesses could be treated. From elementary to high school science, I knew that I was preparing for a career in healthcare.
Now initially, my goal was to become a physician–wearing the white coat and making all of the rules. In high school, I forged a path to study pre-med in college by excelling in both biology and chemistry and joining student organizations. However, it wasn’t until my senior year when my guidance counselor volunteered me to follow some healthcare professionals as part of a week-long “shadowing” experience for seniors. I was assigned to visit an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physician, a pediatrician, and an oral surgeon. During my visit with the oral surgeon, I got a chance to witness patients have their tonsils removed in an outpatient clinic. By the end of that day, I discovered that there was one person that held the whole day together— the nurse. Yes, the surgeon performed the procedure with ease, but the nurse’s role could not be denied. From ensuring the patient was prepped and educated prior to the procedure, to preparing the necessary tools for the physician (including his/her favorite music playlist), to ensuring the patient was fully recovered and ready for discharge, the nurse was the star of the show.
After witnessing the role of the circulating nurse that day, I shadowed a few other nurses in other roles (e.g., nurse manager and bedside nurse) on my own and began planning my collegiate options with my guidance counselor. I knew that nursing was the career for me. The diversity of roles and their impact on patients’ lives was inspiring. Being there for patients during difficult times, advocating for their safety and treatment, and helping them get better was what I wanted to do. There was no doubt about it. I didn’t choose nursing—it chose me, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Why did you become a nurse? (Answer below in the comments)