The word patient originally meant “one who suffers”. This is the reason why patients are called such; to serve as a reminder of how patience plays a huge part in our everyday role as care providers. When we attend to the sick and the incapacitated, we are integrally reminded that they need us to be patient with them without telling. When we are burnt-out from a 16-hour shift and we get more calls, we do not complain. Even when we deal with irate, demanding, or impossible patients, we learn to endure and just muster patience some more. This is because we are nurses and a lot is expected from us: skills, knowledge, and attitude. With the kind of service that we provide, patience thus becomes very much inherent in our profession.
But the act of forbearing should not only be used for the purpose of human interaction. Sometimes, in the process of becoming a nurse, we need to be patient within our selves too..
I am a nurse from the June 2006 batch. Since that time I took the infamous board exam everything seemed to become a test of patience for me. Like the rest I had no choice but to retake and create a new victory. I now celebrate a 2007 license. Getting my IVT card was another story. When I passed my NCLEX it was in the midst of retrogression in the United States. My attempts to sponsorship only lead me to accept that it was not the time to force it but a more sensible time to retreat. When my IELTS expired I had to retake in hopes of trying my chances in Australia. I got unnecessary delays in my application and unfortunately was left by co-applicants in doldrums. And just like most of the struggling nurses of today, it has been three years now that I continue to hop from one hospital to another in search of training and volunteering slots, mindless of the promise that maybe someday I would be absorbed because of my capabilities and not because I have the strongest of connections. Needless to say, this has been the common plight of my contemporaries. I am not yet a full-fledged nurse yet my patience has already gone through rough weathers.
There are many instances wherein our patience will be put to test. Not only by the people we deal with, but also by adventitious challenges we face as nurses: the wait for our license to care, the wait for compensated employment, and perhaps ultimately, the wait for a greener pasture and a chance to a better life. Little did we know that when we entered this field we are bound to become the most patient people we could ever be. With the ‘sufferings’ attached in our profession, we only need to constantly remind ourselves that one cannot be a nurse without patience. We become our own reminder of this virtue.
After a year, I finally got my approval to bridge in Australia. I am still patiently waiting for my turn to serve.
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