Monday, January 7, 2008

A Nurse's Tale

pinoy careIt’s been quite a while since my last post, I apologize because of workload. I’ve also been tied up with the day-to-day operations of my everyday life. Still, it’s shameful that I’ve neglected this site for so long.

Christmas and New Year have never been better compared to last year, since I was surrounded by my loved ones especially my college friends. If there be any gift I received this Christmas, it would be the sense of fulfillment as a nurse and a teacher.

2008 is REAL; I can now feel the strike of the “quarter-age crisis”. I don’t want to spend another five years of my life in teaching, not that I hate my calling as an educator but the reality of becoming old. I don’t want to be looking at my students’ faces five years from now and reminiscing my college years. Right now, my greatest fear is to become old.

I spent my Christmas at Home for the Aged (Tahanan ni Maria, Carmona Cavite) where I am the Clinical Instructor for 50 nursing students (lived-in caregiver OJT course). It was an eight-day stay, 15-hour duty per day (from 5:30 am-10 pm) for a total of 120 hours.

I have always enjoyed being around the elderly, and this is probably the primary reason why I now love being a “nursing home” nurse. The opportunity to really “connect” and build relationships with your patients are not something which are always found in hospital setting where patient stays for only few days. There is a real challenge which comes along with taking care of someone for few months or years compared to few days. This challenge comes from trying to meet the client’s emotional needs as well as the physical needs to provide a comfortable “home like” environment for the client. The rewards received from meeting these challenges are significant, and are probably the major reason why many nurses in long-term care stay in the profession.

I know many years from now; I will be looking back at my own career. The things which I will remember will not only be how hard I worked or what technical skills I was able to perform effectively. The memories which will really stay with me will be those someone’s face lighting up when I entered the room; the reminiscences of days gone by, told to me by someone who actually lived them; the times when I laughed and cried with my patients or their families; the batch of cookies made for me by a patient’s daughter in gratitude for my care of her mother. But above all, it is the unconditional love you’ll learn from them. These are the things which make my job worthwhile, and the reason which I look forward to going to work each day and everyday. To those nurses who think of long-term care as an unrewarding, dead-end job, I strongly urge you to think again and maybe even to give it a try… You’ll be glad you did.

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