I remember the depression spells I had during the fifth year of working as a nurse. It was as if I was in an empty room with a large screen playing all the scenes of my days before graduation. All the unfulfilled dreams, frustrations hit you one by one as you thought of the good old days. At the time I felt every bit of confidence was drained from me the minute I started working. It was as if the things you know you were good at suddenly transformed into a new terrain requiring a map to aid in navigation just to get you through alive. Yes, it was a horrible feeling. So I did what any normal human being in a piranha pool would do—I tried to escape, FAST.
When I was offered a job in Makati for a clinical process outsourcing company, I thought it was the best solution to get the quick fix that I wanted. Attractive salary, no isolation precautions to worry about in the work place, no stressing about not getting a cannulation in, no fluctuating and stressful schedule (since you work night shifts constantly), no lousy scrubs (Hello! Makati girl dresses!), free coffee, and you get to be best friends with your computer. What more could a depressed nurse ask for?
I submitted my requirements, passed my qualifying exams and prepared myself for the big leap. And then the interview came — I passed it alright, and I was ready to resign from my previous job. I was expecting my happily ever after moment after the interview but I found myself teary eyed instead.
“You said that what you liked most was seeing your patients smile after they get out of the hospital, and you sounded like a really dedicated nurse, are you ready to give up your patients and shift to a new career option in nursing?”
The last line echoed in my mind constantly. Am I ready to give up my patients? Am I ready to give up the hearty conversations? The tears they share when they wanted aid in easing their burdens at home? The smiles they give in return for giving time for them?
I remembered why I became a nurse after all the hardships I endured in college— why I pursued after a clinical instructor told me outright I’m not fit to be a nurse. I remembered why I woke up early in the morning to work at a hospital in the province instead of a big shot call center in metropolis — because my patients needed me. I am a NURSE, I work, I care, I breathe for my patients.
That was a reason good enough to make me stay at the bedside.
Photo credit: nursingcrib.com
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