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.
To find out how you can bring Renee to your organization or next nursing event, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org