My Aspirations as a Nurse
I want to work triage in a city emergency room, be streetwise and kind.
I want to hold a starving child in Sudan and drip nourishment into his mouth.
I want to be an expert, called upon by the Times to comment on the latest health care issues.
I want to relieve the pain of the mother dying of ovarian cancer.
I want to relieve the pain of her teenage daughter left behind.
I want to race through the halls to answer a code, to feel that adrenaline rush.
I want the patient to live.
I want to find that one tiny remaining vein so an elderly, dehydrated patient can get fluid.
I want to straighten out the sheets, remove every wrinkle, fix the pillow just right-because it is all I have left to offer a dying patient.
I want time enough.
I want to unscramble all the tubing, wipe off a port, and inject a precisely titrated dose of medication.
I want to give report on time.
I want to turn off the respirator of a patient who has suffered too long and leave him in the arms of his family.
I want to learn some amazing fact about the human body. Again.
I want to be honest about prognosis.
I want to be hopeful.
I want to respond to an international disaster, live in a tent, curse the conditions, provide care without modern equipment or adequate supplies, and know it’s some of the best Nursing I’ve ever done.
I want to understand.
I want to stand up on a podium in front of the Senate and eloquently, movingly, brilliantly argue for mandatory staffing laws.
I want to tuck a newborn, still wet, into the perfectly fitted place at her mother’s breast.
I want to tell a mother whose baby has died how beautiful he was.
I want to teach a patient how to give herself insulin and see her smile when she accomplishes it.
I want to recognize the arrhythmia on the monitor and intervene before the heart flies off into useless flutter.
I want to go back to school.
I want to write a book about all the crazy, terrible, comical, heartbreaking, and inspiring experiences I’ve had as a nurse.
I want to be a manager. To support and be an advocate for my nurses while still demanding excellence.
I want to drive home satisfied with the finished shift.
I want never again to listen to a toddler’s silent chest.
I want to laugh with my coworkers so hard it hurts.
I want to cry until it stops hurting.
I want to teach at a great university, influence generations of nurses to come.
I want to call the patient who has no more time left and tell him we’ve got a heart.
I want to monitor vital signs, comfort the family of the teenager harboring the offered heart.
I want to earn the respect of my fellow nurse.
Resource: AJN, American Journal of Nursing