The meme above is particularly entertaining because this very thing happened in our ER last month. Some dude ran around butt-bearing and bat shit crazy, opened the tiles in the ceiling and climbed in. The hospital went on lock down, the police came, etc. When I tell you nursing isn’t worth it, I’m not lying.
I experience brief moments in my life, usually sparked by a simple spoken phrase by a loved one or stranger, or perhaps it’s a sudden snap in my neuron firings, that tear me away from my current path and place me onto a new one. I think this may have happened with “dutafatique” chick. At that moment, I closed my mind and cut off all caring. It’s now time to move on.
I’m uncertain if this happens to other people but I am notorious for taking leaps of faith and charging into the unknown with no outward display of fear or apprehension.
As a girlfriend of mine once told me, “You’re my random friend. Whatever other people never think to do, I’m certain you have or will do it at some point.”
For the record, I am just as scared as the next person; change freaks me out. But I can’t let it keep me from experiencing life. I’ve also made choices that gives me the freedom to do what I want now. I pay off my debts before leaving a job, I part on professional terms (no burning bridges), I drive an old, beat up car (therefore, no car payment), I have no mortgage, no wedding plans or babies in the making; I am free. By choice. When a coworker looks at me in disbelief, asking, “How is it you live your life like you do? Traveling all the time and never minding if your shift gets canceled?” I glance at her diamond ring as big as my eyeball; life consists of trade-offs. You chose a diamond. I choose a trip to Africa.
Bedside nursing is a beating. It is a defeating, thankless profession. This is due to many factors: hospital bureaucracy, human indecency, understaffed and overworked employees, and a level of responsibility that is humanly impossible to accomplish accurately and consistently. There is also a tremendous lack of balance; for all the effort you put forth as a nurse, you get very little in return. I view the hospital as a necessary evil but one I choose not be a part of any longer.
I will take this chance to state the obvious: there are exceptions. Nurses who work in women’s health and pediatrics are generally pleased with their jobs. Most every nurse I’ve met on my current floor wants to eventually be in the NICU or labor and delivery; it’s loved and it’s popular! I concede this point willingly but unfortunately, I have no strong pull or desire to work in a certain area. So far the hospital has shown me nothing I desire. It has turned me into a person I don’t like being, living a life I can’t enjoy, the stress is all-consuming, I can’t sleep at night, I can’t eat, I am impatient with the people I love and at the end of the day, I feel nothing for the patients. The majority are rude, lazy, helpless creatures; I am not made for helping those who don’t help themselves.
I applied for and accepted a job position yesterday in an area of nursing I never would have expected to pursue. Mainly because I have no strong love for children and after the PTSD my nursing school imposed as it relates to community health, I thought for sure I would never go that direction. But here I am accepting a school nurse position and while I never tend to excite myself over much, I must admit the idea of this job makes me feel what I think might be joy.
The administration seems happy (a foreign idea in my profession), the hours are awesome (8am-3pm), no nights, no weekends, off all holidays and all summer, which leaves an opportunity for me to travel or do odd-ball nursing gigs on the side. I’m paid the same but work half as much. I know right now the things I will hate. It will be boring, parents will be annoying, and I despise conducting hearing and vision screenings. However, this seems like a small price to pay for the positive trade-offs the job offers. In two years I am eligible to precept new school nurses in the school district; I can drive around, answer calls, visit schools and help newbies. Um, yes please!
It never surprises my friends or family when I announce I’m changing life paths again, although each time I do I feel a tinge of embarrassment, as if I am the misguided, lost soul all the other stable, happy souls make fun of.
I know this isn’t necessarily the case. Most people seem to envy my sense of freedom and lack of fear when it comes to facing life’s issues head on. I’d like to say for the record though, I am just as uncertain and scared of change as the next person. However, unlike other people who make choices that tie them to other choices (um, ever heard of condoms people?) or who are too afraid to change or more likely, who are too lazy and comfortable to make a change… I, on the other hand, hope to never be like that.
Whenever I am scared of change I like to think of all the things I’ve accomplished in my life.
- Two degrees, accomplished pianist, ability to play cello if I practiced more, and have a very fun work-out routine involving Cirque du Soleil type activities (I told you — random friend, here!)
- Good friends, great family, loving boyfriend, and an adorable cat.
- World traveler! Scuba diving in caves, swimming across clear, blue Mediterranean bays, sky-diving in Hawaii, nose diving off cliffs, spelunking in the rain forest. And the moment they let the public explore uncharted space, I will run over the young and the elderly to get a space on that ship (exit World Traveler, enter Galactic Explorer!)
I don’t know what to tell you. Adventurous? Rebellious? Indifferent? Survivor? Reckless? I definitely don’t make all the right choices but at least the ones I make lead to an interesting life. What was it Marilyn said? It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring. So onward I go, another step, one more jump, toward something secret but soon discovered. It’s going to be good.