The love for being a nurse can come in different ways.
It could have been a childhood romance since the days of I-wanna-be-this-when-I-grow-up kindergarten. It could have been inspired by the sight of a nurse caring for a relative, friend or from a personal nursed back to health experience. Or it could have been–especially for those who didn’t choose to become nurses in the first place–a slow, gradual process of falling in love, knee-deep code browns, ungodly shiftings, insufferable human beings in hospitals and all.
Personally, though, it happened for me when I was on the verge of leaving being a nurse behind for something else.
Circumstances last year that cost me my job in a prestigious hospital sent me rolling down the lowest point I’ve ever been to in my life, hurting for money and the chance to try again. Unfortunately, I’m living in a country where there are as many nurses as there are peso coins and where hospitals would rather put their staff through 2:10+ nurse-patient ratio shifts than hire (and pay) for additional employees.
So in these desperate times, like many of my fellow nursing graduates end up doing, I had h considered working for a call center.
It’s not hard to get why many jobless nurses end up in BPO jobs : not only is the basic pay substantially higher than what nurses get, you’re also offered a tempting package of benefits (and, surprise, that includes healthcare coverage). All you need to get qualified is a good command of the English language as well as above average communication skills and the unquestioning obedience expected of any neophyte.
But when I finally had the opportunity to work for a stable BPO company with an attractive package to boot, come contract signing time, I felt a twist in my gut, my chest gone cold and my arms so stiff that I couldn’t move my pen. Thoughts of “Is this it?” “Is this what I really want?” “Is this what I’m going to be like for the rest of my life?” kept going through my head like bouncing ping pong balls. The rhythm went on and on until the ping pongs morphed into a tennis ball “Hell no,this is never what I wanted in the first place!” because “I’m not a call center girl! I want to be a nurse!”
It hit me right there and then: I missed the days of handling patients. I missed the days of changing linens, giving bed baths, prepping for procedures and micromanaging the needs of the patients and the unit. I missed I missed the stress on the floors, the hospital drama and all the intrigues and laughs that came with them. And I missed how wonderful it felt to lie in bed after a day’s good work or the way a heartfelt thank you from a patient can trade all the stress away for a boost in morale. So much that it made me walk away from the contract and closed the doors to the BPO industry.
If there’s one thing I learned from this experience, it’s that you shouldn’t make yourself work for something you don’t have your heart on; else, you run the risk of being miserable your whole life. Nursing isn’t the most glamorous profession, but it’s one of the two nearest and dearest to my heart (the other being writing) and I know I owe it to myself to try again.
When did you realize your love for nursing? Let me know in the comments below!