Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New Path

For a long time after I had to resign from full time work as an RN due to COPD, I thought I would just wither and die. I always wanted to be a nurse and it sort of defined me as a person and what I felt about life. Give back. I could have been a poster for nursing recruitment. I loved it. I feel it was a gift to be in someone's life in their lowest moments. I could feel good about myself if I could make a difference in someone's life. As hokey as it sounds, I enjoyed helping people.

I was blessed with an opportunity to continue to nurse in a different environment. I now am the program director and teach certified nursing assistants. I think I've mentioned before that I have been the RN signature of a CNA program for about 3 years. I never took money for that but had oversight of the program taught by a non profit foundation at our local community college.

Last October I resigned my job as Director of Nursing and like I said, I felt devastated that I couldn't manage the stress of the position as my symptoms of COPD became worse. This year, I was offered the opportunity to be more involved in the class and to help teach it. Oh my goodness, I had never thought of teaching, ever! But as I wrapped my head around it and the posssiblilities, I came to love the idea. The foundation and I had the same philosophy: to bring qualified care givers into the already stretched health care field.

A new class started on Monday. I looked at the class and was impressed by the faces of people who wanted to make a change in people's lives. What a unique opportunity to share my ideas and instill in them a pride in their work and a sense of self esteem because they are making a difference.

I had reached a point in my own career where I felt pretty jaded and cynical and helpless to effect changes. It took months and months away from work to recover my love of nursing and to be positive again. I remember now why I went into nursing and my love of helping and how by making small changes, each person can make healthcare better for everyone. We each have a roll to play in the grand scheme of things and I feel that now I am here to show others my enthusiasm and love of caring for others. It's still cool and it's still relevent and it's ok to love helping others. I hope that these students go out and challenge the status quo. I hope that they remind others who are cynical about why they went into a helping profession. I hope they make a difference.

I still have so much to give and who could ask for anything more?

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