by Bobi Jo Creel, MSN, CRNP

(a note to myself at 17)

The world will speak at you in many ways. You will read how the medical world is full of red tape, rules, ratios and never ending charting, but there are a few things they are missing. The world needs good nurses called into the profession; and you, girl, can make a  difference. Here is what no one tells you…

No one tells you that you will be scared–Of the pressure. 

Of messing up. 

Of not knowing something. 

Of doing the wrong thing. 

Of letting down your medical team. 

No one tells you this will make you a better nurse. 

No one tells you the ways patients will affect you–

With their struggles. 

With their stories. 

With their faith. 

With their determination. 

With their fight. 

No one tells you this will make you fight harder. 

No one tells you there will be days when your faith becomes shaken–When you don’t think you can. 

When you don’t know what to do next. When you just want to walk out of the patient’s room. 

When you think, “Why am I here and how do I fight harder for this life?”

No one tells you that you will start to believe in you. 

No one tells you that patients and families will change you–

With their harsh words as they are at their worst. 

With their loss as if it’s your own. 

With their happiness in the successes of small daily battles. 

With their joys in new beginnings and the miracle of life. 

No one tells you that your character will strengthen through empathy and grace. 

No one tells you how your coworkers will influence you–

To want to be a part of a work family. 

To understand sometimes all there is left to do is pray. 

To learn to be a better listener and supporter. To realize that you are not in control. 

To realize who is. 

No one tells you that you will learn another side of the meaning of love. 

No one tells you that you will have days when you feel the fragile flicker of mortality–

When a patient gets better and then back to worse in the blink of an eye. 

When you code a patient for the first time. When you have your hands on a chest praying for that life to stay grounded. 

When that life breaks it’s earthly chains. 

 No one tells you that you will, in these moments, recognize that there are two types of patients–those who should be able to be saved, and despite all medical resources, aren’t. Those that shouldn’t have a chance to survive, and by divine medicine, do. 

No one tells you that you will go to church in a patient’s room–

When your patient just needs to talk or hold your hand. 

When your patient’s family members want answers you don’t, and won’t ever, have. When you and your team have exhausted all efforts and you gather around the bed and pray…and cry. 

No one tells you you will find your beliefs in those walls because you finally understand He is never far away. 

No one tells you of the days when–You find peace in your calling. 

You finally see why you are in this role. You realize that you are a tool and an avenue for great work to be done. 

You understand that you are human and your best IS good enough. 

You believe. 

No one tells you that you’ll look back at your journey with a heavy heart at the ones who branded it and are no longer with you, of the ones who stay with you for all the best reasons, or the days when you felt like you were right where you needed to be. 

No one tells you that when you are doing what is your calling, that it is all that matters and, most importantly, all that ever will. 

No one tells you that you will find peace in your work because it is far more than just a job. 

No one tells you that sometime later you will look back at how it all started, with tears in your eyes, and realize–

That the days of doubt were trials and you passed, not always prettily, but you did it and you have built character as a result. That the positive far outweighed the negative. 

That the days of not knowing your purpose are over. 

That you are the mother, daughter, sister, and spouse you are because you endured. That the pieces of all these experiences you have carried with you now quilt your being. 

And, lastly–that even on those long days and nights over the years when you felt your heart breaking and healing, that those on this adventure with you saved a piece of you as well. Your journey is not over, it has only begun; the trail is merely better marked now as a result of your experiences. It can only make your footprints clearer for those who travel along it with you and for those who follow after you.

About the author: Kelly Reese

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