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Lasting Impressions

Lasting Impressions

It is my second semester as a student nurse, and I just finished my sixth week of rotations on the pediatrics floor. So wonderful! I don’t believe I ever want to have children of my own, seeing I have sometimes a short temper and can be kind of selfish. So I thought …

I figured the LAST field I would want to go into was pediatrics, but I guess you can’t rule anything out until you actually experience it. I want to work with children. I want to even possibly work with diabetic children, since I want to specialize in nutrition or also get a dietetics degree. I am shocked at how much I’ve enjoyed my experience in these few short weeks. What surprised me most is how I can connect to them, and comfort them, and proceeded to inject them with Prevnar and DTaP vaccinations, as well as painful Heparin subQ’s. But the reward of performing these tasks hasn’t come in monetary form as of yet, and so I know that if I enjoy working in this field so much without “compensation,” that has got to be a good sign.

Though, I still am feeling accomplishment from my work. The people I meet, the acute relationships I develop, are more than I could ever ask for. While I may be making a good living off of my presumptive salary in the future post-graduation (and possibly a master’s degree), the rewards I’ll anticipate will be similar to those I’m already receiving every day I’m in the hospital. Today I was in the outpatient clinic at my rotation site in Chicago, and it was my last day working on the pediatrics floor. A few weeks ago, I cared for a patient that was in for a venous thrombus in her leg. The cause? Not your usual teenage diagnosis, but lack of exercise from recent pregnancy. Yes, I typed that correctly. Just barely a teenager, and a one month premature baby of hers sleeps one floor below in the neonatal intensive care unit. I had a very comforting effect on her, because well for one thing I didn’t judge her. I treated her like any other girl her age would want to be treated, whether post-partum or pre-pubescent.

Walking through the outpatient clinic, three vaccinations in hand for an anxious seven month old, I passed a room and curiously peered in as I walked by, just like I would any room with the door wide open. Though I stopped in my tracks past one room, backed up, and lit up in excitement upon hearing my name being called from inside. It was my patient and her mother from two weeks ago! Other than the fact that I was ecstatic that she was happy to see me, so much so that he mother was grinning from ear to ear as well, I was glad to see that she was discharged from the inpatient ward, and that she was walking extremely well on her leg that was once too painful to even move laterally in bed. I spent less than six hours with her the day I cared for her, but the look she gave me this afternoon made me feel like I’ve been her primary care physician since she was a little girl.

This is one day. One day out of hundreds (maybe even thousands), that I will experience as a nurse. I guess first impressions are everything. Even with those we disregard now and again.