Reflection of Interview With Registered Nurse

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 4
Words: 1252
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: College

The rationale for Choosing Nursing Path

The interviewee responded that her ultimate reason for choosing nursing as a profession was the opportunity to help patients and their families directly. She emphasized that although physicians play a significant role in treating the disease and saving a patient’s life, the patient needs more than that to cope with the disease and rehabilitate both mentally and physically. Nurses are the ones who mediate between the physician and the patient, provide the immediate psychological and medical needs of patients, and also address family concerns. All these constitute a critical part of patient well-being, which is the ultimate goal of nurses.

Nursing School Experience

Maintaining Work-Life Balance

She emphasized the importance of social support she received from her family members, friends, instructors, and colleagues. Inevitably she experienced burnout while switching between school and part-time work as a registered nurse. These difficulties were further compounded by familial struggles and financial challenges. The last year was particularly exhausting for her since healthcare professionals, especially nurses, were in close contact with patients and frequently overworked. However, she said she is immensely grateful for the people around her during those difficult times who supported her, psychologically and financially. Moreover, the realization she was contributing toward the larger goal of overcoming the pandemic, saving lives, and alleviating patients’ struggles encouraged her not to give up and overcome difficulties.

Commitment to School

She mentioned her level of commitment to nursing school was quite high since she aspired to pursue a master’s degree in the future. Hence, she studied around 5 hours per day, dedicating a lot of time to memorizing the information. Nevertheless, she also aimed to be actively involved in social life by engaging in student clubs and volunteer organizations as well as spending time with friends.

Clinical and Lab Experience

Although she does not remember her lab experience, she recalled her clinical experience was exciting and exhausting. She passed her first clinical experience at the Ellenburg Nursing Center, the senior living provider in Anderson, South Carolina. She could not take night shifts since she had to be with her children at night. She could take day shifts when her children were in schools and kindergartens. Hence, she had to wake up early at 5 am every day and commute to her workplace by starting her shift at 7 am.

Moreover, the work was very challenging since it required a lot of care for residents. Although she enjoyed her job, she was frequently sleep-deprived and tired, and she did not have the emotional and physical energy to spend time with her children. Since she is a single mother, she could not simply delegate tasks such as caring for kids and monitoring their studies to their father. This aspect of her clinical experience was overwhelming and even made her rethink whether she wanted to pursue this path. However, two reasons helped her overcome these struggles and ultimately convinced her to remain in nursing. First, the staff at the Ellenburg Nursing Center was very supportive and caring, like a family. They genuinely cared for residents and workers as well. Secondly, the happiness and satisfaction of residents continuously reminded her that her job was valuable and reenergized her. Thus, her first clinical experience was very challenging and, yet internally, emotionally rewarding.

Preparation for Examinations

She mentioned that it was difficult for her to keep a consistent, intensive preparation for the examinations since she had family and part-time work; hence, she often could not prepare. She initially felt that she would never pass the test and would waste her time and money that she could instead invest in her children. After giving up her hopes for several months, she realized that she should at least give it a try.

She decided she would try to prepare at least 1-2 hours a day and take one practice exam each week. Since her time was tight, it was vital for her to have a clear study plan. She prioritized the areas in which she was the weakest and dedicated her time to these areas. The progress was slow as her first improvements were only seen after around three months since she started preparing. She also did not have additional financial resources to purchase preparation resources or attend tutoring sessions. Nevertheless, with discipline, hope, and determination, she was able to pass the test with good scores.

Top Three Patient Memories

The first memory she had was when she was working at the Ellenburg Nursing Center. The patient was a woman in her late sixties, and she had deteriorating dementia. Hence, she was frequently confused about where she was, even what her name was. She enjoyed doing puzzles and crosswords, although she rarely smiled and talked to other residents. She frequently forgot that she was in a nursing center and kept asking when her son would visit her. The interviewee struggled to remind her of the truth that she was not at her home but at a nursing home. The most memorable part of this memory for her was the weak smile on the patient’s face when her son came to visit her. This memory has reminded her of the profound importance of human relationships, especially between a parent and child.

Another unforgettable memory for her was when she was working in AnMed, where she currently works. She witnessed the desperate attempt of parents to tell their eight-year-old son that he would soon die from leukemia. The son was very pessimistic as if he already knew the truth. Parents thought a lot about how and which one of them should be speaking to their child. They even asked the nurse, the interviewee, to tell them this information. Eventually, the parents told their child about his diagnosis, and the interviewee burst into tears while witnessing this moment.

The third vivid memory is less tragic but still had a profound influence on the interviewee. The patient was a middle-aged Muslim woman who struggled to reconcile her religious obligations with her treatment. She requested a female physician and nurse, which was difficult to provide given the scarcity of female healthcare professionals. She felt significant mental pressure and guilt when sacrificing her prayers due to her health conditions. This memory encouraged the interviewee to think about creating more inclusive, diverse healthcare institutions.

The Hardest Thing About Being a Nurse

The hardest thing for her about being a nurse is that the duties and responsibilities of nurses can be overwhelming. She mentioned that since many patients are physically and psychologically struggling, they and their families often resorted to nurses to take on their frustrations and anger. Moreover, there is still a hierarchical attitude between the physicians and nurses persist; the latter is often the victim of neglectful, belittling attitudes. However, there are still some patients who thank nurses, which helps them to overcome such a toxic environment. Moreover, some nurses on duty and physicians attempted to guide her and other new nurses, which allowed her to adapt and succeed.

“NurseLife” and Personal Reflections

The phrase “NurseLife” means life with compassion, empathy, and dedication regardless of the situation around you. She emphasized that being a nurse means that she needs to respond quickly and correctly to crises. The interview significantly influenced my perspective on nursing and life. Being a single mother juggling work, family life, and nursing school, I can significantly relate to the interviewee’s struggles. Her success story encourages me to overcome my difficulties and obtain a registered nurse license through hard work and dedication.