Recently, there has been a lot out there regarding the nursing profession and comments from the hosts of the show, The View. Being a proud Registered Nurse myself, this has grabbed at my interest. It started with this video when Miss Colorado spoke about her nursing career as her talent. Now, I can understand how some people feel that speaking about being a nurse isn't a "talent." I wouldn't expect them to, either, unless they were also in the medical profession. Gaining that degree and checking the box of becoming an RN was one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life, and no one else knows how that feels unless they too have gone through that experience. You suffer, you stay awake long hours, you give up time with your family and friends (wait, this trend also continues once your career begins), and there's also injuries that occur, much like you would experience while training for any other talent. Singing? You bet your hiney they give up precious time training, they suffer to memorize lyrics, to hit high or low notes, but no one tells them that's not a talent. Dancing? Good Lord, could you imagine the pain your feet would feel hour after hour doing the same moves over and over? Still, a talent and a hard one at that.
But actually becoming a nurse isn't the only talent. Lots of people can read and memorize important information. In fact, while in school, you are taught information "by the book," meaning in a perfect world, this is your perfect scenario. Your patient comes in with blah blah, blah blah happens & you do blah blah & they live happily ever after. Seems easy enough, right? But does anything in life ever go perfectly? No, and here's where the real talent lies. Once you actually get a job, (which is super hard to do, by the way) you have to learn the skill. There's a plethora of different avenues nurses can take, floor nursing-to include but not limited to cardiac, ICU, labor & delivery, pediatrics, ER, surgical-case worker, sales, management..the list goes on & on. You touch on important points for each area of nursing in school, but until you're actually out there practicing & dealing with people's lives, someones loved one..your talent hasn't reached its full potential.
The real talent comes when you know what to do when someone comes in with a fatal arrhythmia. When a new mom comes in in labor, and you have to talk her through her contractions because her husband is deployed overseas and family hasn't had time to get there yet. When you clean up someones mother, friend, sister, daughter, after they have passed away so their family can have their final moments with them they way they remember them, and because they deserve that respect. When you hold the hand of a small child during a scary test or procedure. When you perform CPR just a little bit longer to keep that person alive for 5 more minutes, even though you know it won't bring them back, just to allow their family member time to arrive & see them alive & say their final goodbyes. These are things nursing school & a book can't teach you. That's real talent. And that is what it really means to be a nurse. And that's something you can't showcase during a Miss America pageant.
This does not at all discount any other healthcare worker, as the work you do is just as important. I could never complete my job without the assistance of the respiratory therapists, physical/occupational therapists, EMTs, paramedics, and of course, the doctors. All of these people, by the way, have and use a stethoscope. All are trained to use one & use it to accurately assess and treat their patients-your loved one.
So, to be frank, speaking about being a nurse is not a talent. But BEING a nurse, actually out there, dealing with people and saving lives, that IS a talent. Showcasing your passion for such a noble, wonderful & fulfilling career is a talent, in my eyes. But again, maybe its because I went through it personally, so I understand how she feels about her chosen talent. In fact, when I first watched her monologue, it brought tears to my eyes because every nurse knows exactly how she feels. We all have that story that solidifies this career, this talent, for us.
I'm so thankful for my talent, and all of the other brilliantly talented people I've had the privilege to work with over the years. Thank you for all you do, and the sacrifices you make every day. #nursesunite