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May 7, 2014

Nurses challenged mentally, emotionally

TERRE HAUTE — As a high school senior in 2002, I knew the medical field was where I wanted to pursue a career. I say career, not job, because that was very important to me. I wanted to find a profession that challenged me, kept me stimulated, and left me fulfilled. I was drawn to nursing for several reasons.

First, my mother was a pediatric and women’s health nurse and my sister was pursing her nursing degree. I admired and respected those women so much that I knew a part of me wanted to be like them. Looking back now, I realize we all share an innate desire to help people and to make situations better. I always respected nurses, and now I understand why it is one of the most respected professions in America. For these reasons, I enrolled in the BSN nursing program at Indiana State University in 2003 and took a position as a critical care tech at Terre Haute Regional Hospital in 2004.

I graduated from nursing school in 2006 and have spent my career thus far in the Intensive Care Unit at Regional Hospital. The nurses, doctors and all members of the interdisciplinary teams there are what motivated me to get where I am and continue to do so every day. When you have the pleasure of working with people who want to help others, the benefits are endless. I believe that is what makes nurses so special.

As a nurse you are challenged every day to care for a person’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. We are constantly thinking, problem solving, learning, teaching, listening, comforting and striving for better. Any given day a nurse may be faced with a situation that evokes fear, happiness, confusion, joy, anger, good news, or bad news, an addition to a family or even a loss. The ability to balance those emotions internally while providing patients with high quality and compassionate care is the essence of being a nurse. We experience days that can drain you completely, stop to thank God for our blessings, after which we and go back to it the next day. Being surrounded by people like that every day motivates me to try harder and give more.

When you get a glimpse of an extraordinary nurse like that, reflect on what it takes to be a nurse and tell him or her thank you. It isn’t always easy to be a nurse (you know we wouldn’t like it if we didn’t love a challenge), but it sure is rewarding. If what I have said inspires you or ignites a spark within, become a nurse! The profession thrives on people like you.

In honor of nurses’ day I would like to personally thank all nurses for everything you do every day. You motivate me and fill my cup. Each day at the hospital we reflect on a quote by Donna Wilk Cardillo to keep us motivated. I leave you with one of my favorites.

“When I think about all the patients and their loved ones that I have worked with over the years, I know most of them don’t remember me nor I them. But I do know that I gave a little piece of myself to each of them and they to me and those threads make up the beautiful tapestry in my mind that is my career in nursing.”

 

Ashlee Pinkston, RN-BSN, CCRN, is ICU manager at Terre Haute Regional Hospital.

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