Wednesday, May 06, 2009

My Dream Job

I love my job.

There have been moments of supreme hatred and loathing, but that usually
was not related to the job itself,but to the people with whom I was attempting to work.

I have wanted to do this job since I was seven.

I remember confirming that moment when I was 17.

I watched in the hospital while my sisters had her babies. I remember when she had Mary in Florida, I was watching the other four. I spent the night with her in the hospital while Bryan was home, and the next morning the nurse came in and asked me to leave for a moment. I think I cried a little, but managed to eat breakfast in the cafeteria. I'm fairly certain it was biscuits and gravy. And hot chocolate. When I came back, there sat my newly operated on, dearly adored, mama of a sister sitting on the edge of a delicious looking, fluffed up, pristinely white bed with the sun shining in the window. She was eating breakfast in a new gown with her hair and teeth brushed. Baby Mary was cocooned up in the bassinet sleeping peacefully.

I had an epiphany. It's such a clear memory. I wanted to be the magician who stayed in the room and made THAT happen. It seemed like a miracle to me.

Nursing school was two of the worst years ever. It was HARD. No one could sleep before clinicals, and we would ride up the elevator to 9 Roberts, nauseous and sweating in our white uniforms, with Brandi muttering "I hate our lives."

I liked home health. Mostly. I loved my patients, and I liked seeing them and caring for them in their homes. That was a special experience. I grew frustrated though, by the fact that I could not really make anyone better. I found myself saying "I just need that magic wand!"

I liked post-partum. Loved taking care of the babies, mother-baby care, teaching and comforting new moms. Straightening the trays, opening the blinds and snuggling the newborns. I don't get to make that particular magic happen anymore.

I was ok with floating through med-surg. I learned alot. If you had a bad day, you just moved to a different floor the next time you came in for a shift. But I just hated working at that time. My babies were babies. I wanted to be home with them, even if I was only gone two days a week. I still get a sick feeling in my stomach when I remember pulling out of the driveway on Miller St. and pulling in to the parking lot at Crawford Long.

But it kept me in nursing. That mattered a lot.

It matters because now that both of my kids are in school, I can work full time, and I can be home with them when they are home. Schedule, though a huge part of it, is not all of the reason I love this job.

It's walking through the doors, saying good morning to all the sleepy, grumpy, happy, sneezy (yes, and dopey doc and bashful) faces...calling out as many names as I possibly can. It's having a girl waiting by my clinic door just to say "hi" or ask me a question. It's putting bandaids on owies. It's feeling small arms around my waist as I walk through the cafeteria to get ice each day. It's a line of 70 kindergarteners with big smiles to show me that they brushed their teeth. It's pulling lice out a girls hair, while teaching her older sisters how to do it too, because if they don't, no one will. It's joking and laughing with my friends through the course of the day.

Ok. Ok. I admit it. It's all the Mexican food.

Just kidding.

(sorta)

I like joking with the older kids, comforting the sick ones who's parents have more pressing matters (real and imagined) to attend to. I like teaching about health and deodorant and lice and periods. I like screening 4 year olds for vision and hearing.

I love pulling out splinters. Very satisfying.
I'm not terribly fond of nosebleeds. Or diarrhea.
Vomitting I'm ok with. And earaches. I like looking in ears and listening to lungs.
I get kinda panicky with asthma, because, well, breathing is kind of important for living, you know. There's a life or death aspect there that has always kept me out of the ICU and the ER.

It's really rare when people find a job they love. I feel so grateful to the Lord for putting it in my heart from a very young age, and to my parents who never doubted for a second, educated, supported and paid my way. I know that I have been richly blessed.

I consider it a privilege.

Happy Nurses Day to all my cohorts out there. In the words of a first grader today: "You Rok Alot"

7 comments:

Pound said...

you are an awesome cyber doula (and i bet you never even went to cyber doula school), and you do rok!!!

amy lapi said...

happy nurses day sarah :)

April said...

So proud of you! So happy for you! I SO love you!!

Goody said...

Not only are you a great nurse and daughter but a great mama to your children and to many other children. Happy Mother's day dear, darling Sarah Fay!

Julie said...

Hello Sarah: I found your blog through Zoecarnate.com. I was drawn by the title, which, if you go to my blog, you'll see why! :-)

I love this post. Your writing is beautifully descriptive. Thank you for sharing the ups and downs of a very heroic, often thankless, job in such a creative way.

Julie said...

Sarah: Thanks for your comment on my blog. Hope you got to see the Browning quote. That was what I was referring to in my first comment.

I also love your book list on your profile. We have many favorites in common. Nice to chat with you!

Jada's Gigi said...

Happy is the woman who has found her place. :) I think you really do Rok. :)