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Personal Essay- Nursing

Personal Essay- Nursing

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Published by mbx47

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Published by: mbx47 on Nov 13, 2012
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A Time of DiscernmentMargo Schlichter University of New HampshireEnglish17 February 2011
 
Schlichter 1A Time of DiscernmentHe was lying unresponsive on the hospital bed, with a flatline steadily running across themonitor. The crash cart was brought in and we tried to resuscitate him in any way we could.There was the ubiquitous hospital smell of antiseptic in the air, and the calm hum of the fluores-cent lights overhead. I was doing chest compressions with an anxious feeling in my stomach.My hair was falling all over the place and I’m sure the expression on my face was not a prettysight, yet none of that seemed to matter. I continued with the compressions for minutes, but itseemed more like endless hours. Somehow knowing that someone’s life was at stake seemed tomake all the trivial things in the room leave my consciousness. Finally, relief flooded the roomwhen a steady heartbeat could once again be heard from the monitor. This moment, which wasfilled with a feeling of both accomplishment and exhaustion, is when I decided that I wanted to become a nurse.Of course, since I was still a high school student at the time, the man on the bed was not areal person, but a very life-like simulation doll named Frank, and I was working under the lead-ership of two other certified nurses. But this fact didn’t make the moment any less significant for me. This decision, which changed my future, was one that I could have never made if I had notattended the Summer Nursing Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.Armed with curiosity about the field of nursing, I entered the Summer Nursing Instituteat the University of Pennsylvania in July, 2010. I used this experience to determine whether nurs-ing was the career I wanted to pursue. At this time, I was a shy soon-to-be senior in high schoolwho had never been away from home for more than three days. My family gave me not only a
 
stable upbringing, but the love and support that I always needed. My parents always remindedme that as an aging, close-knit family we share a connected past, a safety net for the future, and a bond that can never be broken. However, I now found myself living in the unfamiliar city of Philadelphia on my own. I remember watching my parents driving away as other cars whizzed by on the crowded city street. At this moment I quietly started questioning myself for makingsuch an impulsive decision. To say this was the biggest adventure I had ever taken in my lifewould be a major understatement.Luckily, my worry seemed to quickly fade away as I almost immediately became com-fortable in the new environment. I met my roommate and two other girls who were in the nurs-ing program with me, and we quickly became close friends. Not only did I get to make friends, but at the beginning of the program we were given a few days to explore the city. We saw theLiberty Bell, had a famous Philly Cheesesteak, walked along South Street, and visited Indepen-dence Hall. I remember these first few days as a crazy whirlwind that never seemed to end. Af-ter exploring the city, we entered into the nursing aspect of the program. We met our instructor named Joan, had a few days of introductory courses describing different types of nursing, andthen quickly began the clinical days.The clinical days were, by far, my favorite part of the program. Each day, I would go to adifferent hospital and shadow a nurse in each of the different departments. The emergency room,the GYN floor, and the intensive care units were just a few of the many floors I had the opportu-nity to experience on these days. I would shadow nurses as they gave out medical care to the pa-tients, which is when I realized that nursing was much more than I had originally thought. The patients rely on the nurses to give them information and to teach them about their conditions, butthey also rely on them for the basic moral support needed to get through a hospital stay. After 

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