Have you ever had a really crappy shift where you couldn't find a vein if it slapped you in the face, the patients just get sicker, the pyxis had none of the meds you needed, the lab took hours and hours for stat orders, the docs were grouchy, etc. Yeah. I had one of those a few days ago. Days like this make me question if I am just too lousy a nurse to be in this profession even though I usually love it so much.
With apologies to my atheist friends, I truly believe God/Higher Power/Universe always knows how to make up for this garbage kind of day. The next shift I had some of the sweetest patients. The docs were not troublemakers. The lab was super quick with results. And the pyxis was well stocked with all the necessities. I actually felt semi competent. I had a patient's mother thank me for being a blessing to their family. Wow :)
One thing that really struck me was when a patient's daughter, a hospice nurse, told me she was thankful that her mother had gotten a nurse for whom nursing was a "calling" not just a job.
I really appreciated that comment, but it made me wonder. What is the difference between a calling and just a job? I have wanted to be a nurse since I was a child, but know many nurses who went to nursing school to please parents, to retrain after their factory job went away, or to have a way out of a bad marriage. They are excellent nurses. I certainly enjoy getting a paycheck. I don't think I would want to be a nurse for free. I do get a deep personal satisfaction when I can make a difference in someone's life or even just provide some comfort when it is needed. What is nursing to you, a calling or just a job?