How many of you knew that you chose a profession where it was never going to be about you? Right?  As a nurse, we have to put aside our needs for the sake of patients’ needs – every day! It is never about us and always about others.
My two best friends are in business. One is a project manager for the banking industry and the other is a quality analyst for a talent management company. Over the years, I have learned the following about people working in other industries:  They take 1 hour lunch breaks; go to happy hour, almost every Friday and leave work early just to get there when it starts; sleep in on the weekends; actually go the bathroom – any time they want! And, they get perks – company parties, trips, Christmas bonuses, Easter bonuses, heck, Groundhog’s day bonuses. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit but you get my point.
I can remember when I got my very first paycheck as a new nurse. My manager handed me a check for $900.  “Nine-hundred dollars!” I said with excitement.  I loved being a nurse so much that I even told my manager I would work for free.  And then I got off of orientation and reality smacked me in the face.  Quickly I found myself saying, “Nine-hundred dollars? Are you kidding me? You can’t pay me enough for this.” Like all nurses, we have good days full of internal satisfaction; the kind money can’t buy, and then we have bad days; the days when we really question why we became a nurse.
What I realized over the years is that nobody goes into nursing for the perks, right? There has to be another reason. For me it was two reasons: The first is because I loved science. I was always fascinated by the human body and how amazing it is that we manage to stay alive at all. Think about the pH of your blood: 7.35 – 7.45. Anything below or above and you’re essentially dead unless you intervene.  Wow. Fascinating.  The second reason is that I wanted a career where every time I went to work, I had the opportunity to make a difference in somebody’s life.
Yes. I sometimes get envious of the perks my friends get. However, they are also envious of the perks I get as a nurse; the perks that are the most valuable: Improving patients’ lives. There’s real honor there – real meaning.
Sometimes when we get tired of it never being about us; get tired of holding our bladder forever, never getting out on time or taking a break, we have to remind ourselves of why we became a nurse. What are our internal perks? Why did we choose this selfless profession?
Why did you choose this profession? I would love to hear from you.
Take care and stay connected.
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