When You’re Not Dressed to Impress

Nobody even saw me as a nurse way back then. They thought I’ll be this office chick who drives over this cool car to a big city and has frappe’ and Belgian Waffle at Starbucks for breakfast. They thought I’ll be that career woman who finishes her hours 5:00 pm pronto and go to the gym afterwards or to whatever hip happening gig right around the corner.

Well they’ve thought wrong. Though I was this (and still is, at times) girl who wanted project proposals and thesis defense at school to happen so I could wear my long sleeves, black coat, A-line skirt and high heeled shoes. And yes, I could definitely pull off this attire. In fact, I can pull it better than I can pull off (or try to) white dress/ blouse and pants and a huge white cap. In short, a nursing uniform.

Truth is, I’ve always wanted to be in the medical field. Well, I’ve always wanted to save lives and sometimes, I thought, more importantly, wear a white coat and stethoscope on my neck (that way I can still pull off a somehow business attire and wear a white coat – score!). But kidding and fashion (or the lack of it) aside, yes, I’ve always wanted to make a difference through the world of health. When I was a kid, I’ve always loved going to the hospital. I loved the smell of medicines. I loved the gore and the blood and the fact that people can be stitched back and be well. So yes, I’ve aspired to be a doctor. Then I found out that you need so much years to learn to ‘stitch back people and send them home well.’ So I settled for what was achievable which is to be a nurse where I may not stitch back people and send them home well but I get to help in their mending process – physically, emotionally, even at times spiritually.

Truly, I’m so far off from dressing to impress thing I’ve always had. Goodbye to business attire. I’ll probably get to wear it for job interviews (which I don’t plan to have lots of it because I’m happy where I am). Goodbye to white coat – permanently. But I’ve figured that if I wanted to make a difference like I’ve always wanted to, I don’t need to have a shining wardrobe or cool outfit or a white coat. I don’t need to have my hair always well groomed and my face looking fresh every single minute of the day. I don’t need all those to care and to love and to be a good person. All I need are my calloused-from-work hands to hold a patient’s hand and tell them that someone cares. All I need are my skills and whatever knowledge I have to keep my patient’s well. All I need is my mouth that speaks encouraging words. All is need is this heart that God gave me to care for the sick – and that does not mean only sick in the outside, but sick and needs rescuing in the inside.

And the thing is, I don’t need any dashing fashion statement to touch someone’s life. Though patients do care on how nurses present themselves, they don’t care if you’re wearing Gucci made uniforms. They don’t come in to the hospital to gawk on how nice nurse’s and doctor’s uniforms are. They come to the hospital because they need help. What matters is not what someone wears but how to answer to God’s calling to be instruments of faith, love, joy and hope. I guess that doesn’t only go for the nursing profession but to the whole human race. It’s not how we think highly of ourselves or of others because of what clothes suit and match and is the latest. It’s how people regard other people.

I’m not this office chick now. I’m this nursing woman. I work abroad and I don’t wear the classic white uniform. I wear a different hospital uniform with white blue striped blouse and navy blue pants. I don’t go to Starbucks for breakfast and I definitely don’t go to the gym after work. I go home with my hair unkempt and messy. I have water and soap splatter on my clothes and pen marks everywhere. And I think to myself … job well done today.

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Loving nursing. Loving God. ^_^