During my first year of undergraduate study at ABC University, a professor shared with me an interesting – and oddly grammatical – philosophy. The purpose of education, he said, is to do one thing: namely, give the human one small letter, the letter “e”, to make the human, humane. This simple, yet profound, observation stayed with me throughout my undergraduate training, and it remains with me still as I move along my career path in nursing.
Now, after five years of schooling, and four years of intensive nursing experience in Neuroscience Intensive Care Units at ABC Hospital in Tampa, and ABC Hospital in Orlando, this philosophy drives my desire to advance my career even further. To that end, I am enrolling in the Adult Nurse Practitioner program. This advanced degree is the sole object of my professional focus, and seems to me to be the next, and inevitable, phase in my career. I am absolutely confident that I will give to the Nurse Practitioner Program everything it requires from me, so that I can in my work reflect what it gives to me. As personally rewarding as involvement in the program will be to me, I look forward as well to the improved patient outcomes it will help me to achieve. This is exactly the kind of education I am ready for, in order to better define that “e” in the humane profession in which I am honored to serve.
In regard to my actual nursing experience, I cannot overstate how professional and personal growth occurred, and occur, in complimentary ways. I feel that this is an essential component to being a nurse, as the best work comes from the satisfaction that the work inherently provides.
My years in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at ABC Hospital in Orlando were nothing short of extraordinary for me. It is a privilege to assist in so prestigious and superior a hospital environment, and I discovered how the basic elements of caring within nursing comprise the very foundation of that hospital’s excellence. My time there has not only reaffirmed my decision to continue in my career path as a nurse, but it has helped to guide my professional interests from general, family-oriented nursing to more specific fields.
In the Neuroscience Unit, working directly with a team of doctors and nurses, I believe I have found the role within professional nursing I am both most adept at and drawn toward. My tasks are varied here, and I am involved in clinical treatment of patients, and on-the-spot problem-solving with consequent recommendations of options to physicians. These are, without a doubt, exciting aspects of the work and I approach the responsibilities of them with respect, as well as enthusiasm. However, something else draws me as a nurse more powerfully: communicating with, and offering comfort and relief to, patients in times of intense physical and mental suffering. It is difficult to express, but this means of applying my training and my passion for nursing fulfills me in a manner unlike any other. Privileged to work with the superlative teams of nurses and physicians at the ABC, I have gained a greater understanding of how simple compassion, tempered by knowledge and administered in a genuine way, defines the core of nursing for me. In this compassion reside all the elements that elevate the medical profession. In this compassion, high professional standards, integrity in dealing with patients and concerned loved ones, and years of skill gained through education and practical experience are expressed for the good of the patient.
As I navigated the nursing profession and sought a focus that would allow me to best connect with my patients, one particular experience had me seriously considering family practice. I was working under the tutelage of Dr. Johnson when a young girl came in for a cleft palate repair. The girl was, not unexpectedly, extremely anxious about the surgery; her parents had anxieties as well, and it was profoundly satisfying to me to be able to educate them, and ease their fears. Of course, I had the enormous advantage of being able to sincerely acquaint them with the superb abilities of the team which would be attending to the young lady. Then, as knowledge erodes fear, their concerns greatly lessened as I explained the procedure of the operation in a way they could fully comprehend. In this process, and in this exchange, I came to see how immensely important it is to be able to translate the potentially frightening experience of surgery into the vastly beneficial procedure it is, and that a nurse, caring and informed, is best poised to perform this crucial role.