The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I often played “house” with my brother and my cousins as a child. We would pretend to be a different family in a different home with different identities. This game brought our creativity to life and we would play for hours. I always wanted to be the mother or caretaker and my cousins and brother always played as my children.
A variation of this game was “hospital” where my cousin and brother came to me with a plethora of injuries that I had to treat as the doctor. I would wrap their “broken foot” in a scarf that acted as a cast. I would pretend to draw their blood with my pen and give them popsicles “with medicine” to feel better. This game was something I was so obsessed with and, as weird as it sounds, I loved taking care of them despite the fact that they were not really injured and loved pretending to be a doctor.
When I was thirteen years old, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. As a child, this was very difficult for me to understand. I remember sitting in my middle school cafeteria at lunch looking at the clock thinking about my dad who was on his way to chemotherapy. Every Thursday at 12:30 sharp I looked at the clock and fear took over my body.
I felt like I had no control over the fate of my dad and I hated feeling that way. When I was thirteen years old, I decided I wanted to be an oncologist so I can help other people who have cancer.
I often asked my dad about his treatments, appointments, and what he liked about his doctors. He told me that the people who made the greatest impact on him as a patient were the nurses who never left his side.
This made no sense to me. I always thought that doctors were the only important people in the medical field and I was so wrong. The nurses are the ones checking in on you, the ones bringing you what you need, and so much more work behind the scenes. As a constantly returning patient, my dad had more of an interpersonal connection with nurses than the doctors. He saw his oncologist occasionally to discuss the treatments he would be undergoing but the nurses are the ones who would give him the treatments.
So after learning this, I eventually decided that I’m more into the nursing aspect of medical care and set my heart on it. For me, high school was dedicated to getting good grades so that I could get into nursing school. Every test, every day, every assignment was dedicated to nursing school.
When my dad lost his battle to cancer is when I decided that nothing could stop me from becoming a nurse one day. I can’t say that my dad was the only person who influenced my decision, but he was definitely the one that motivated me the most.
In January, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and was immediately thrown into the hospital every other day for appointments and lab tests. I went through months of medication trials and missed most of the end of my senior year. I do not have cancer like my dad, but I never understood how important nurses were until I was a returning patient all the time.
I have infusion treatment in my hospital’s cancer center and each time I go I have the same team of nurses with me. They pay great attention to not only my treatment, but also my comfort. They remember where I prefer my IV, they remember that I like the Lorna Doone shortbread cookies, and that I prefer my blanket unwarmed.
My Nurse Practitioner in specific is someone who I consider to be a superhero. When I have a problem or don’t feel well, I send her a message and she’s on it immediately. Each visit or call I have with her is valuable to me because I can feel that she cares about how I am. She makes sure to ask me about how I am doing with life in general, not just my medical condition. She makes thoughtful decisions, but informs me what she is doing and why she’s doing it.
My doctor is the one who calls the final shots, but the nurses that I see all the time have built true bonds with me and make me feel like I’m not just a part of their work day.
I want to be a nurse because I want to be as great as the nurses who have impacted my life for as many patients as I can. My dad, myself, and so many other people have been lucky enough to receive the best care possible. I want to dedicate my life to being a great nurse like the ones who have taken care of me.