487 days down, 505 days to go. I’m not quite sure how precise that particular statistic is, but I feel that it still illustrates my point. My classmates and I are nearly halfway through our nursing school careers (in terms of our bachelor’s degree). There have certainly been days that I feel we should be given an award for each term we survive. The journey that we have endured thus far has not been an easy one, yet it has been one of the most rewarding expeditions anyone can experience.
As health care professionals, we have been granted the opportunity to provide care to those that are most vulnerable and in a time of their greatest need. Without our core of individuals, our patients (clients) would not be able to do something as complicated as medication administration to something as simple as shifting their body weight off of their bony prominences. We have been given the privilege to learn the techniques that have been discovered and perfected by those before us to provide the best care to our future patients/clients.
We have been granted this opportunity because of our drive, passion, and ambition to help those that need another’s attentive care. I feel that it is safe to say that most of us have not chosen this career for the monetary compensation it provides. It is this particular faculty of our intellect that I find extremely uplifting. Not only uplifting, but also encouraging and rewarding to ponder as well.
To be a part of such a morally edified class of human beings reminds me, and shows the rest of society, that there is indeed hope for us as a species. We as health care providers stand together as a thorn in the side of the media’s portrayal that all hope is lost in humanity. We prove every day, with our empathetic care for another human being, it is indeed possible to go through one’s day positively without harm or malice. Through our actions we show that it is possible to overcome the concept of evil. 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, you can turn on the television, browse the Internet, or read the newspaper and discover something terrible is happening in the world. The vast majority of this news is a result of one person’s actions upon another: “A man killed 3 members of his family before taking his own life . . .” or “A suicide bomber destroyed . . .” or “A deadly earthquake has claimed the lives of 78 people . . . ” just to illustrate some examples.
But even in the face of the horrors that occur around us, we still provide a shining example that virtue exists within this world. I am therefore also humbled to be considered and associated with such a distinguished group. It is rewarding to take a step back during a stressful day, say during a clinical rotation, and realize that I am having a positive influence on someone else’s life. Sure, there are times when it appears that the patient/client loathes your very existence and will do anything to make your shift a living hell. But eventually, that patient/client always appreciates the sacrifices that you make to ensure that they heal their ailments and overcome their struggles. This realization may not happen instantaneously, however someone always eventually recognizes it whether it is the patient/client, family, or even a colleague.
It is exceedingly encouraging to witness the vast positive influence our career choice will have on our future patients/clients, the communities we serve as well as the rest of the world around us. We have become a beacon of virtue, justice, and integrity to those around us. This profession has a vast history of being widely renowned and respected for these characteristics. It is therefore up to us, the students, to embody and exemplify what we have been taught and what we will learn.
Our generation will be the new face associated with the phrase health care professional. The key words are care and professional. We must abide and demonstrate to the rest of the world that good prevails over evil, love conquers hate, and that virtue triumphs over iniquity. The term perseverance unequivocally provides us then with the greatest conception of what we will be required to do in order to continue the noble tradition of our history. We need to persevere and continue to show the world how light can vanquish the dark. I challenge you, my colleagues, to continue to spread the light of our profession to your future patients/clients, coworkers, and communities.