I wished that I could tell you that I am in love with my job or glowing stories of how nursing has changed my life. I will say that nursing has changed my life, but the in love with my job part is a "work in progress." I liken this whole experience to when I had my son, who was my first baby and is now 12 years old. When they handed me my baby in the delivery room I expected this immediate, glowing maternal moment like on television. That happened, but not right away.
As the oldest of five children, I figured that this motherhood thing was a piece of cake because I had been taking care of babies since I was eight years old. I was happy about being pregnant and the thought of labor terrified me because I had no idea what to expect. As soon as the doctors said "Mother see your son...?" I had this realization that this tiny little baby I held in my hands relied upon me to protect him and nourish him. I was all he had in this world. It was a bit frightening. I took him home from the hospital after one postpartum day and on the third day his father was holding him. I was thinking, "Ah, now I can go take a shower." I was gathering my things and I happened to notice that his father was wacking my baby on the back. HARD. I asked what was going on and he said the baby was choking on something. I snatched my baby from his fathers arms and the baby was purple. He was not breathing.
I don't remember how I had the calm to do this but I took the bulb syringe that was conveniently sitting on my night stand, plugged one of the babies nostrils with my finger, pushed the plunger and placed syringe into the unplugged nostril and released the plunger. Nothing happened. So I did it again and felt resistance. When I withdrew the syringe, there was a huge green booger stuck to the end of it. Almost as soon as that happened, my baby turned pink again and was crying. Then I freaked out and called the doctors office. I was crying and rocking my baby in my arms. Even though I started out my motherhood experience indifferent, if my baby had died that day I probably would have died with him.
Nursing is the same way. I had this expectation that I would have this Florence Nightengale experience. Nursing is so much more than that. It is a huge responsibility, like my newborn son. And at any time a situation can happen. I only hope I remember to do CPR!