One Nurse’s Story

How it all began

When I was younger, when I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was always a nurse. The only reason I wanted to be a nurse at that time was so I could wear scrubs everyday, to look just like Meredith Grey from the TV show Grey’s Anatomy.

Little did I know, a few years later my dreams would be crushed because my favorite show was definitely not like the real world. When I got into high school, I started getting involved in service work.

During that time, I went on four mission trips, and I found that I had a huge passion for service. It was such an incredible feeling seeing how much of a difference I made in other peoples lives just by helping with simple things we take for granted everyday. I knew that helping others was something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life, so I decided to look further into nursing.

I decided to become a Certified Nursing Assistant in order to get my feet in the water and see what the medical field was like. During my clinicals at a nursing home, a resident pulled me aside and asked if I would shave his beard.

I wheeled him to his room where I brushed his teeth and shaved his beard. After I was finished, he grabbed me by the hand and started to cry. He looked at me, and thanked me over and over again for what I had done for him. As I left his room, I was speechless. I could not wrap my head around how his whole day was turned around just because I shaved his beard and brushed his teeth; two things that people do on a daily basis without even thinking about.

I realized that people take health for granted every single day. While some people grow up living a normal, healthy life in their home, others have to spend their lives in a hospital bed. This experience lit the fire for my passion in nursing.

Certified Nursing Assistant

While I was training for my first official CNA job, a resident sat down next to me and asked me what I was doing. I explained to him that I was in training. He asked me, “Why on earth would you ever want to work in a place like this?” His question caught me off guard so I responded with the typical answer I felt any nurse was supposed to say; “I want to work here so that I can help people like you get out of here.” It wasn’t until three months later, during the last conversation I had with a very special lady, that I got to experience and see the truth behind my words.

Throughout my career as a CNA, I had never seen anyone more determined than this women to get better and stronger in order to go home. She had big plans to do with her kids and grandkids once she got better, which were her motivation during her whole recovery.

On my last shift with her, we were discussing school. She told me “Sweetheart, you just keep doing what you’re doing and let nothing stop you. I know you’ll be just fine.” I responded with, “I’ll keep doing what I’m doing the best I can in school, as long as you do the same while you’re here,” and that is exactly what she did.

When I came to work the next week, I was notified that she was discharged. I had to hold back my tears because I was so happy that she finally got to go home and be with her family, after four months in rehab.

The joy I felt from helping this woman get through her journey on this long, hard, and painful recovery was absolutely overwhelming. Like I said earlier, I knew I wanted service to be part of my life, but this was the first time I was fully content that I could live this passion through nursing. Actually, I learned that nursing someone back to health is one of the best services you can do for someone.

Working as a CNA has not been easy. In fact, most cases do not end up as happy as the lady’s did in my story. To be completely honest, the bad days tend to out number the good. A CNA’s responsibility is to help someone with activities of daily living. This includes dressing, assisting in the bathroom, showering, feeding, changing, and transferring patients.

Where to next

But despite the long shifts, exhaustion, terrible smells, difficult patients, and sad families, since this experience, I have never once second-guessed why I am doing it. The gratitude and pure happiness, whether it come frequent, seldom, or never, that someone expresses for taking care of them is an indescribable feeling.

As a CNA, I have learned that in nursing—through all the sadness, there is a little joy; through the overwhelming stress, somehow you always feel at peace; throughout the bad, good can be found, and most importantly through the seemingly endless struggles, you keep your head up and there will be successes. So to the man in my first story, this is truthfully “why on earth I would ever want to work in a place like this.”

As a CNA I have the opportunity to help people just simply live life. I want to take my career in nursing further, to not only help people with every day activities, but also have the chance to save people’s lives. Life is a blessing that can be given, taken, or changed in an instant.

I want to make sure that everyone that crosses my path has the opportunity to live a long life and on top of that, a healthy one. I know that nursing is the career path meant for me. Therefore I will be attending, a nursing school in the spring or summer of 2018 to continue my next steps on my journey to becoming a RN.

Edward Glass

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Edward Glass

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