Well worth it

It’s a first class problem to have so many interesting/inspiring topics to talk about that you are unsure of which one to write about in your blog…but that’s where I’m at lately. I’m just about done with my third term of five in this program and I’m chaotically busy but loving every minute. Do I choose to write about the issue I researched that is so near and dear to my heart? Do I write about how I’m beginning to think like a nurse and finally feel like I will be ready to be a new graduate nurse in a few months? Do I write about the very impressive nurses and faculty I’ve had the opportunity to work with and how they have inspired me to potentially teach students later in my career? You can understand my dilemma.

What I narrowed it down to is really the thing I’m loving most, and that is my rotation in pediatrics. I came to nursing school knowing it is what I wanted to do. But getting to do it- well it’s brought me more joy than I thought possible, already.

Friends and family would agree that there is a part of me that’s stubbornly remained a kid. I have Disney songs on my iPod (and I know all the words). I have a sense of humor equivalent to that of most first graders (and the jokes to prove it). And, I think feeding the ducks and playing on the swings are perfectly acceptable Saturday afternoon plans. I also tend to be “glass half full” when it comes to most things. You can imagine, with these traits in mind, that I really enjoy working with and taking care of children. I also really love working with families, something I discovered through my previous job. One of my most rewarding moments this week was offering emotional support to a very worried and upset mother and father who just want their baby boy to be his smiling self again. Pediatric nursing is about more than caring for your patient, it’s about caring for parents and other family members as well.

It is also challenging. It is more complicated than adult nursing in many ways. You are dealing with all kinds of diagnoses, every age group, and every developmental level. You are doing weight based calculations for everything, and you have a different set of medical parameters for each age group. Assessments have to be done more creatively. Giving medications and ensuring adequate nutrition are trickier tasks. Doing procedures involves a little bit of strategic planning, extra sensitivity and, just about everything takes more time. Of course, you also do not get to watch Mulan, play Shrek video games, put on tattoos or play peek-a-boo on the adult floors- although, maybe you really should. (I think the adult medical world could probably stand to learn a few things from the pediatric one.)

I’m more than ready to accept the extra challenges because I think there are extra rewards too. These last few weeks are a glimpse of what it means to love your work so much that it doesn’t feel like work at all. I’m already sad in thinking about the term almost being over. I’ve thought about just continuing to show up on the unit but somehow I don’t think it’d go over so well. I’m reassured by the thought of hopefully getting an immersion placement in pediatrics this summer, and beyond that, of hopefully being hired and paid to do something I love this much. Until then, I will continue this crazy journey of learning how to be a nurse and will be grateful that I’ve found out what it is I’m meant to do. How lucky is that?

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Comments

  1. Jenna,

    There is a comfort and a joy in loving what you do that it does not feel like work. It does not mean that the challenges decrease or that there will be no conflicts or even contention in the workplace. It does mean that it is easier to get up to go to work, it is easier to look forward to the 8 or 10 or 12 or even 16 hours you will be there. It is easier for your family to support you in your chosen profession.

    I enjoy that feeling now. I have never regretted the change in career to nurse and I look forward to each day with enthusiasm and a smile. It is a wonderful feeling!

    Good luck on your journey!

  2. Thank you :) It’s good to hear!

About the Author

Jenna Cerny has lived all over the place but considers the NW home and loves Portland so far. She worked as a caseworker for child protective services before deciding to pursue nursing school. She is currently in the Accelerated BSN program here at OHSU and she intends to go into pediatric nursing. She also loves animals, the outdoors, attempting to cook, reading, writing, singing karaoke, and watching football/hockey.
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StudentSpeak

Ever wondered what life is like as a student at OHSU? What does it take to become a researcher? Just how gross is gross anatomy? Welcome to the blog that answers these – and many other – questions. It’s students writing first-hand about their commitment to careers in science and health care. It’s honest about the challenges as well as the joys. It’s not always pretty. But it is our story. Thank you for sharing it with us. And please, let us know what you think.

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