Nursing School

An Admirable Applicant to Nursing School

Nursing school is a worthy endeavor; it takes a person with intelligence, solid character and a big heart. Nursing is a job that comes with countless challenges and the ability to overcome these small hardships on a daily basis takes a great deal of courage. Not many people choose this sort of career but without nurses, where would we be as a society? Our health care system depends entirely upon dedicated people who undergo intense training in the medical and care profession.

I met a woman on the bus once, and she was a retired nurse. We were on the long haul bus from Calgary to Toronto, and this ensured that we had plenty of time to talk about ourselves. With little else to do, Jenny confided in me her inability to cope as a young nurse and the challenges she faced. There were too many naked people, she said. As a nineteen year old fresh from training, Jenny didn't know how to deal with the nudity of the hospital rooms. Nursing school hadn't prepared her for that, and the health care system offered little support. She told me that at the time she was unmarried, and given the times, the first naked man she saw was a sick 75 year old called Ralph. I daresay she will never forget the sight of him.

Emotional Intimacy Always a Surprise

Another thing she wasn't prepared for was the emotional intimacy between nurses and patients. She was left to deal with a long list of patients each day, and although she was taught to expect these demanding challenges in nursing school, she didn't know about the feeling that you are invading someone's privacy all the time. Patients in their own rooms or beds were often off in another world, and to extract a bedpan or administer medication was like being a cruel mother to Jenny.

In time she grew more used to the idea that everyone was naked and irritated by her presence to deal with their most private conditions. Nursing school had basically given Jenny all the real, straight-forward health care system training that she required for her job but there were so many unexpected challenges along the way that sometimes she doubted she could stay the course. In those days, though, there was little else she could do; she was unmarried and untrained for anything else. She had to stay and push past her discomfort for the good of both herself and her patients. It's people like Jenny who really make the difference in the lives of people worldwide, and we should all be thanking her for being so strong.

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