Facing the Person in the Mirror

There are times where you look at the mirror and think, “Who the fuck is that looking back at me?” No, this is not going to be one of those dysphonia posts.  It is more about who we, ok I, are/am kind of posts.  While we all go through times of not knowing who we are or where we fit into this crazy world, some of those times are easier and shorter then others.

I am just finishing up the last weeks of the second to last term of nursing school.  This is the time that we, as students, have worked for so hard. The light at the end of this tunnel is now clearly in view and we know that there is an end to this hell.  With this joy comes this icy cold dagger of truth. That is, “Holy fuck!  I am about to be done and that means that I will be a real nurse!  What the fuck was I thinking?”  It is these stark realizations that can be more terrifying then anything that we have come face to face with before in our lives.  It is with good reason that we are feeling this way.  This job, no carrier, no calling comes with some great responsibilities.  It is very likely that our choices that we make could and can LITTERALY kills someone. We are going to be in charge of the lives and safety of some of the sickest and fragile people we will have even have met in a few short month.  If you are not at least a little scared then you are in the wrong line of work and PLEASE get out now.

It is this fear, no terror that keeps up sharp.  I am big believer in the idea that this is what will keep up wanting to learn the newest techniques, the newest medications, the newest treatments and the newest methods.  It is these feelings that will keep up pushing and driving us to be better, be more efficient and more compassionate.

I have worked in my ED for over 7 years now and I am the first to admit that burnout is real and that I am not immune.  I will also admit that there are day that I am not on top of my game.  I have been lucky to have work friends and family that have been there to help me through these times.  To those people I am eternally grateful.

So now that we can name and own these feelings where are we to do with them?  I say run with it.  We have made it this far and we are not going to give up now.  My people, at this point the only way out is through.  You are strong, knowledgeable and capable.  You are going to not only be nurses but you are going to be great nurses.  I do not care if you are going to work in long term care, clinic or in a hospital. I do not care if you are going to work med-surg, ICU, PACU or ED.  I do not care it you are going to work TCU or in a school.  I do not care if your stay an RN or go one to get your MD.  I want you to know that I believe in you.  I want you to know that I know that you can do this! I want you to know that you are more then your fears and more then your worries.  You are amazing and you are brilliant!  You got this!

So when you find yourself looking in the mirror asking yourself, “Who the fuck is that looking back at me?” you can say with confidence and with our any doubt, “A fucking amazing nurse, that’s who!”

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