My Dad has always said, “Always remember and never forget, wherever you go – there you are.”
Despite my best efforts, I have never been able to figure out exactly what he was talking about. Does it mean be thankful for where you are in life, don’t wish away the time, savour the moment? Is it something he made up (no, because I googled it) or something he read in a poetry novel? Can I put some meaning to this mantra of my childhood? I think I finally can.
I am officially half way through my Bachelor of Nursing degree. I want to remember all that I’ve learned, and I don’t want to ever forget this feeling. The chance to give one-on-one care to our patients, to have the time devoted to one person, will not happen forever. I want to always feel so strongly about my nursing practice. I want to always be excited about giving a needle or doing a sterile procedure. I want to always love learning new things, and always remain passionate about my patients. So this blog is a time capsule of my half-way point.
Always remember & never forget – learning to make a hospital bed. Learning how to fold the corners, straightening out the wrinkles, folding down the top of the sheets. Having clinical experience and now being able to do it all in a couple of minutes.
Always remember & never forget – learning to assess vitals. BP P R T, four little things that are so important. Learning how to check blood pressure and having no idea what I was hearing to now being able to check it with background noise and 100 other things on my mind. Finding pulses that I never knew were hiding in the human body, and learning to check respirations but not actually telling my patient I’m watching their respirations. Taking tympanic temperatures, and getting 34.0. Yeah, that’s not right.
Always remember & never forget – learning to check blood-glucose levels. Finally able to do something that my own mother could do with her eyes closed, and finally understanding what I was seeing when I watched my grandfather check his blood and draw up insulins at the young age of 7.
Always remember & never forget – the importance and seriousness of what I’m doing when I give medications. I hope I remember hearing the horror stories my professors tell, and to really understand the medications I’m giving and why I’m giving them.
Always remember & never forget – the feeling I felt trying to catheterize a simu-person. How frusterating it was, and how I thought there is no way I’ll be able to do this if the chance occurred. Also, remember the feeling when my instructor flipped a coin and picked me to catheterize a patient. The excitement will keep me young, and the nervousness will keep me careful.
Always remember & never forget – the necessity of talking to my patients when I’m giving injections. Don’t get too excited, remember that there is a person there that I am about to poke. And still get excited about butterflies just like the first one.
So now I am halfway to my future career. I am half of a nurse! I’ve had a lot of experiences, some good and some bad. But I still get excited when I try something new, and I still stress over giving medications labelled in my drug guide as “Dangerous Drugs”. I’m sure in 20, 30, maybe 40 years all of these things will be old hat. When a patient throws up I won’t panic, and I might think that the group of 7 student nurses just always seem to get in the way. And when I start to feel this way, to forget the eager and excited nursing student I once was, I might read this or remember writing it and think to myself, “Always remember and never forget, wherever you go – there you are.”.
Or there I’ve been.