Did I choose right?

I’m nearly done with week 2 of this second contract out here. The previous experience has me extremely on guard, but so far I’m not clamoring to get out. Yet.

Recently at work, one of the perm staff members made this comment (paraphrased)

Why are you worried about this? No one cares if you do the comfort rounds because you’re not full time so what you do doesn’t matter. And I don’t see the sense teaching you this because it’ll just confuse you when you go to the next place you move on to  

A fellow traveler was sitting with me as we discussed doing a task I knew the floor was getting audited over. I wasn’t offended by the comment, but was shocked with how she essentially disregarded us because we aren’t staying. My friend had an excellent reply.

“It doesn’t matter if no one else cares whether I do my work or not, it’s about my own personal integrity.”

Yes. Exactly. All of that.

Most places don’t care about our work as long as we aren’t damaging the patients. Our contributions to the floor mean little. It’s part of why I try not to offer much of an opinion about how things are run. I know they won’t change anything at my suggestion be some get offended that you’re offering an opinion at all. 

Regardless, I still take serious pride in everything I do. So even if no one else cares, I care. On good days, I know my work matters. I know the patients appreciate my care for them. I know my coworkers appreciate my part in making the floor run smoothly.

But on bad days? 

I wonder why I chose nursing. I wonder why the thing that used to make me feel like I was making a difference, also makes me feel anxious/upset/irritated/angry/sick to my stomach with worry. When I’ve been berated one time too many, I wonder what I was thinking. When nursing students ask me about nursing, I ponder telling them to run and never look back. 

Real talk here! I don’t sugar coat for nothing. 

Even the thing we love can be become work. Work can become tedious. And tedium can lead to disappointment and wanting to jump ship. 

I have to take a step back on days like that. I have to remind myself why I do it. I have to dig deep and reevaluate. 

It’s okay to not always love your job even when it’s your passion. Life makes it hard and dealing with people for a living makes it harder. It’s okay to say, “this sucks”. When it gets unbearable, take a vacation and remember why you wanted to be a nurse in the first place. 

I’m a nurse because I want to help people. I want to be the hands, feet, eyes of Jesus and show compassion to the most difficult. I want to be a healer, a caregiver, a smile. I told my students you have to have a true love for this or it will eat you alive. 

This job is no fun sometimes, but I am here to serve. Keep serving in the face of terrible odds, friend. 

Travel on, Road warrior 


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