I’ve been a nurse since 1999. Before that, I was a nurse’s aide from high school graduation until college graduation. I have no other marketable skills. My entire adult life has been healthcare. Even my husband is in the medical field. I love being a nurse. It’s the only thing I ever really wanted to be, other than the six months or so I wanted to be a super spy. Gimme a break, I think I was ten and had seen a really cool movie or something. My point is, this is all I know and all I want to know.
Now comes the confession. I’m not currently working. Yeah yeah, life came up. We moved. The kids are in private school and there aren’t any buses so I have to pick them up. Nursing isn’t a 9-5 job and my husband’s job is demanding. Somebody has to take care of the kids. Truth? I got really burned out. Like, dreaded the job burned out.
It wasn’t taking care of people. I’ll always love that. That is hard, but it’s what I signed up for. No, I’m talking about becoming an administrative nurse. Sitting behind a computer, dealing with schedules, family members, corporate offices and government regulatory agencies. That is what I’ve done the last several years of my career. That is what burned me out. That’s not what I went to school for. That’s what sucked the joy out of my job.
We need those kinds of nurses. And I believe with everything in me that we need nurses in those positions that have “been there, done that.” I don’t think we need nurses that graduate and move right on in as administrative nurses. I think you should have experience in the trenches first. But, I think maybe I’m not meant for that type work. Yeah, it’s cool being the boss. It’s nifty having a desk to put your family photos on. It’s pretty darn swell to not wear someone else’s body fluids.
It’s also so rewarding to hold someone’s hand when they’re scared. You feel like a rock star when you can help someone get their pain under control. And don’t even get me started on all the feelings when you’re in a code, and you get that person back!
I guess, all this to say, maybe it’s time to get back to the basics of just being a nurse. I miss that part so much. New Year, no excuses. I’ll be finding my joy again. What have you been putting off?