As a professional nurse who has served patients for more than four decades, I am expected to have the required knowledge to offer to nurse students who tend to think that nursing is just an ordinary job to undertake. Nursing should be taken as a job that requires a lot of commitment and sacrifice to the community (Lewenson, 2006). Therefore, for students to fully appreciate the role played by nurses, I decided to use my long-term experience to explore the vital role played by nurses and also prove to them that nursing is a job that requires a lot of professionalism.
To begin with, it is profound to note that professionalism takes a long time to nurture. A professional is an individual who has a high level of training and education needed to perform a particular task. As such, nursing is also a demanding profession that requires adequate training and dedication.
Before I was enrolled in nursing, I worked in an office for over ten consecutive years. Despite doing the office job, I had a great passion for nursing as well as other activities. For example, I needed to settle down, obtain a mortgage and start my own family. These issues were major stumbling blocks toward pursuing my dream career (Duma, 2008).
Diverse roles of a nurse
Joining a nursing school was not an easy decision bearing in mind that there were myriads of other jobs that appeared to be more secure and less demanding. However, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made in my entire life. Undertaking nursing training is part and parcel of becoming a professional. It entails studying pharmacology, physiology, and anatomy. Clinical skills within the placement area and reflective practices at the nursing school are part of the training that nurses undergo.
When I entered the ward for the first time with my nursing student uniform, it was a major step in beginning my career as a professional nurse. The moment you put on the uniform, you begin your journey of becoming a professional nurse. It does not matter if you have never been given any support. It remains that both the staff and patients expect you to be competent enough when discharging your duties. They expect you to treat them with respect, compassion, dignity, and most importantly, give them the best care. Being a professional nurse implies that patients under your care expect a lot from you. They should be able to trust you in all the services offered to them. For instance, you should be up to date with the best practices like demonstrating kindness, respect, and compassion (Callara, 2008).
There was a time when I was to attend to an emergency case at the hospital. At first, I had understood the concept of the whole process that was to be undertaken to the patient. Unfortunately, I later noticed that I had not fully understood everything until my eighth assignment when the emergency buzzer went off. I responded promptly by rushing to the cardiac arrest unit. This was my first time exercising professionalism. I keenly watched the nursing team trying to resuscitate the patient. I participated in the process and did all the best I could. Unfortunately, the patient lost his life in my hands. That moment transformed me completely. It also refined my choice of nursing. I was able to understand fully, the meaning of being a professional nurse. I came to understand that nursing is not just a job.
Nursing as a career is not merely an occupation. There are quite a several facts that need to be considered in this case. For example, a professional nurse should be accountable, be up to date with the best practices, and also treat patients with care and dignity. This explains why nursing should have the best professionals in the world. Since that time, I have faced several working experiences that have helped me to cement my profession as a nurse. These experiences have largely contributed to shaping my personality and restructuring the way I used to perceive nursing practice in general. As a nurse, I believe that a huge part of it encompasses humanity skills such as empathy, kindness, and sympathy. Therefore, good communication skill in this professionalism is vital (Duma, 2008).
Why nursing is not just a job
I suppose nursing will never be just a job. It is a profession that I have a huge passion for in each passing day. Being a nurse requires a thorough learning experience. The training part of nursing is also demanding. Moreover, I have sincerely enjoyed all my assignments to the patients, nurses, lecturers, my fellow students, and other members of the hospital environment who have assisted in shaping me into a professional nurse. I understand that I still have a lot to learn despite my current impressive level of professionalism in nursing.
Finally, it is vital to learn that there is one most important aspect required in becoming a qualified nurse. Successful nursing demands a collaborative effort through teamwork. This implies that nursing is one of the most challenging jobs that entail the application of both ethics and competence.
Callara, L. R. (2008). Nursing education challenges in the 21st century. New York: Nova Science Pub.
Duma, S. (2008). Fundamentals of nursing: Fresh perspectives. Pinelands, Cape Town: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Lewenson, S. (2006). Nursing history review: Official journal of the American Association for the History of Nursing. New York: Springer Pub. Co.