Tuesday, January 4, 2011


    Apparently I showed an aptitude for nursing at an early age. I found a preschool progress report from when I was 4 that stated I liked to "play nurse" and "fix the other kids' boo boos".  In kindergarten I proudly drew a picture of a stick figure nurse witha big white cap adorned with a red cross when asked about what I wanted to be when I grew up. Plus, I grew up on fabulous reruns of the 1970's TV show Emergency! (the exclamation point is crucial), where I was introduced to the lovely Nurse Dixie, shown above.  Nurse Dixie always remained calm and cool, no matter what the situation, even when the hospital was burning down! I'm sure Nurse Dixie knew RACE and PASS. Hell, maybe she invented them! I did not have beautiful blonde hair like Nurse Dixie, but I thought maybe, just maybe I could grow up and work with cool, good looking paramedics and ER doctors like she did. I did end up being an ER nurse, however, I have still not managed to get my mascara to ever look as good as hers did.  What the heck?
   Also in my youth one of my brothers brought me home a box of Cherry Ames books from a used bookstore.
 The Cherry Ames series started out by introducing Cherry, a wholesome, Iowa born World War II era student nurse. The books follow her through nursing school to graduation and on to her various jobs, including flight nurse, jungle nurse, dude ranch nurse, army nurse, rural nurse, rest home nurse, boarding school nurse, veterans' nurse, and pictured above, cruise ship nurse. Geez, did Cherry have trouble holding down a job or what? In her off time Cherry solved mysteries and had all kinds of wacky hijinks and adventures with her really sweet, perfect friends. There was never any mention of bedpans or blood in the books, however, so I'm not sure how much work Cherry actually did. Maybe she just had really awesome techs who did all her dirty work. Of course I have not yet become a dude ranch nurse or a department store nurse, but there is still time. Jungle nursing, here I come!

Who or what inspired you to pursue your career?


  1. Hi - I just read your comment in Throckmorton's blog. I have to tell you ..I haven't even read a post yet (don't have time now),but you hooked me with your intro and I can't wait to come back.
    Love the Douche bag alert. :)

    Welcome to the blogosphere. It's addicitng. I love the med humor, :)

  2. The Cherry Ames books look totally fab. Gonna have to check them out.

    Okay, you may not like me for this but as far as how I ended up pursuing my degree in nursing, I did it on a whim.
    I was originally a bio/English major. All I wanted to do was travel the world, see exotic places, and write reviews on hotels and resturants for travel guides. Before I knew it I had all the prereqs for the nursing program at my college. I took the entrance exam and applyed with a few friends...and somehow, I got in.
    I finished up my Fundementals semester still unsure if nursing was what i wanted to do but decided to stick it out. I kept telling myself, "Okay, it is just two years. You can do this until you find out what you really wanna do with your life."
    Fast forward to this past semester and my OB and OR rotations. I fell in love with it. I loved the L&D unit I was on. The first time I saw a baby being born, that was when I knew that I didn't have to keep trying to discover what I wanted to do. Nursing is what I am meant to be doing.

  3. Thank you, SeaSpray!
    Estelle Darling, how could I not like you? Everyone has different reasons for doing what we do. That helps keep things interesting :)
    I went to nursing school in an area where several manufacturing plants had closed, so we had dozens of middle aged factory workers looking for a new career. We had women looking for a way to support themselves so they could exit a bad marriage. We had people just out of high school. We had LPN's wanting to advance in nursing. We all contributed something different. It was a wonderful mix!

  4. I used to want to be Consuela on Dr Welby MD.

    Actually as a child ..until HS, I thought I'd become a teacher, but lost my focus.

    I briefly entertained the idea of going into nursing in my early 30s. But then I got a job in ED Registration (20years at that job - loved it most of the time :),and not long after working there ...I realized that I didn't want to deal with projectile body fluids. Although I did have to in registration a couple of times.

    God bless nurses everywhere. We need you. :)

  5. I love the old nursing illustration photos! I've never read any Cherry Ames, but I'll have to keep my eyes open at thrift stores to see if I come across any.

    I started taking care of elderly people after I moved to a new town where no one is rich enough to hire nannies ;) So I figured I'd take care of old people instead, and from there decided I'd better go to school so I don't spend my whole life lifting and toileting them. I want to use knowledge and science and my brain, not just my hands.

    That's adorable that you were set on being a nurse from such a young age!

  6. It was sort of like an arranged marriage --- I went in for the money, and got passionate later.