Unlike many people who aspire to become nurses from their adolescent years, I could not even imagine becoming a nurse until my senior year at John Jay College. I believed it was my birthright to become a revered-affluent lawyer. However, after an unforeseen life-altering event, my plan was brought to a staggering halt. Having a child impeded me from proceeding with my career plan. While staying at the Methodist Hospital, a nurse by the name of Emilie came up to me while she was on break. Until this day, I do not know why she took peculiar interest in me, and asked me what are my goals in life, what my career plans were, and how do I feel about becoming a mother. At that time I felt like it was my last day on earth and I did not have single people who could bolster me through this hardship. I was completely devastated and not a single cohesive thought went through my mind, except that I would need to find some source of income to support my new family. Emilie showed me compassion, and it alleviated my distress. After that, Emilie would visit me everyday during her breaks and I began to see that there is people out there that can make others feel wholesome just by dedicating ten to fifteen minutes of their lives. What she did began to seem more important to me than having to deal with people’s legal issues and doing something that I no longer had interest in.

Shortly after I recovered and stabilized my family situation, I registered at Kingsborough Community College for the nursing program. I graduated the two-year program with honors. I was fortunate to immediately get hired as an emergency room nurse at Coney Island Hospital. Now I was in Emilie’s shoes.  I knew that my new career goal was to be compassionate as Emilie was when I was a patient. In addition, I also knew that nursing care is not going to be only limited to the patient, but in association with the patient’s family members. During my first week at the Coney Island Hospital emergency room, an elderly man with a self-inflected gunshot wound to the temple was brought in. This man was still conscious while doctors were trying to save him; I held his hand and assisted the doctors with what I could. This was a shocking experience for a novice nurse like myself, but the hardest part was telling the family that their loved had passed away. It is tremendously difficult to lose a loved one; for that matter, the doctor or nurse has to be a compassionate professional and deal with the patient’s family as if they were his or her own family. During those moments it is crucial to not lose composure and show callousness. Speaking from experience, a few sentimental words and condolences will help balance the family members’ emotional and physical wellbeing.

After few years of working in the hospital, I have learned what separates a good nurse from a mediocre nurse; good nurse strides to connect with a patient on a personal level, while an average nurse does her rounds as fast she or her can and counts down the minutes till the shift is over. The doctors may be the frontline men and women, but we the nurses are the ones who spend the most time with the patient and make him or her feel that they are not alone. Patients’ trust is a crucial part in nursing and in healthcare in general. When the patient trusts you, he or she will open up willingly, which allows you to know what bothers him or her. On the contrary, probing the patient will only exacerbate the situation and the patient will most likely refuse help. These essential skills still help me, even though; I have not worked in a hospital for a few years. Everyday I stride to use these valuable skills in homecare, since dealing with patients in the hospital is analogous to dealing with patients in homecare. When I do house visits, I try to pretend that I am going to my grandparents’ home and treat my patients like they were my grandparents.

In conclusion, becoming a nurse made me a stronger, caring, and intrepid individual that prioritizes the needs of others over self-needs. This career helped me realize that I cannot better the world before I better myself. I now possess crucial analytical skills that help me over everyday situations and strongly pave my future.