Hugs and Kisses over Hits and Misses

What about cries and spills? No way! Sometimes it’s easier to “take a chill pill.” LOL.

I’m talking about nursing. As my tagline says, I’m also a Professional Registered Nurse. So in honor of National Nurses Week, I’m dedicating this post to all the wonderful RNs out there.

I must admit that when I started out in this profession, it wasn’t all wonderful. Not everything smells like roses. In fact, I received a lot of nicks and scratches from the thorns. There were many times when I just wanted to stop. I didn’t even want to stop and smell the roses as a way of coping. I just wanted to stop being a nurse altogether.

Working in New York City at the time didn’t make things any easier. The Big City is tough. I am this little person, under five feet tall. This tiny, insignificant, new nurse in a fast-pace and sometimes harsh environment. If I wasn’t careful, I got lost and engulfed by the cold reality. I burned out quick.

Then one day, an epiphany came to me. I learned how to care.

This realization helped me in understanding what it really means to be a nurse. It’s not enough to just show up for work because of staffing shortage. Being a nurse means:

You will never be bored.
You will always be frustrated.
So much to do and so little time.
You will step into people’s lives
And you will make a difference.
Some will bless you.
Some will curse you.
You will see people at their worst –
And at their best.
You will never cease to be amazed
At people’s capacity for
Love, courage, and endurance.
You will see life begin – – and end.
You will experience resounding triumphs
And devastating failures.
You will cry a lot.
You will laugh a lot.
You will know what it is to be human
And to be humane.

-Melodie Chenevert, RN

This is an awesome poem about a great profession. She says it best. I let all the frustrations, unappreciation, and failures bring me down. I questioned my choice in life instead of learning from the work experiences. I had to truly step back, take my time, and accept why I studied nursing in the first place.

My life’s calling wasn’t a mistake, it was a blessing.  In realizing this, I evolved into a better person. Not only did I learn to do my best from the patients, I also learned from my colleagues, nurse managers, and interdisciplinary teams. Most importantly, I learned to use those learning experiences to become a caring nurse.

I used my heart and soul to interact with my patients. With that human element, I gained insight into what it means to care. Care about what I do and for those I care for:

  • C compassion and competency
  • A attentiveness and advocacy
  • R responsiveness and responsibility
  • E empathy and evaluation

Without that emotion and understanding, I wouldn’t be able to do the other part of my tagline: write about my experiences.

So I’ll take the hits of a busy schedule. Accept that I missed a couple of things only to learn from it, and get it right the next time around. Offer a kiss on the cheek for a patient’s victory. Give a hug when a patient is in need of one. Lend my shoulder when a patient cries. Clean up the spills simply because a patient can’t by themselves.

And as for that chill pill, I won’t give it to a patient because it sounds easy, I’ll give my care instead. As for me, I can always use one, especially after a hard day’s work. But I’ll take a “thank you” from a patient anytime 😉



About Lisa Malabanan

I am a graduate of Rutgers College of Nursing and work as a Professional Registered Nurse in the field of Perinatology. I currently live in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania with my husband and two children. At the age of six, I discovered piano and classical music. A variety of music genres influenced my life through the years, and I’m passing on a love of the arts to my daughter and son. Reading fiction is my escape from the chaos and stress of a demanding yet rewarding profession. For me, writing transcends the diversion of a good book. The experience is like commuting on a New York City subway; diverse people enter and exit the scene, sometimes delays and derailment occur during creativity, and a train of thought is missed or passed over on occasion. In the end, an arrival at my destination is what I hope to accomplish, and I invite readers to take that ride with me. View all posts by Lisa Malabanan

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