COD

Nursing a challenging

but rewarding career

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

When I first decided to become a nurse, I was both excited and scared. It would be a new career with endless possibilities, but also a career with a lot of responsibility. Nursing school began and, along with it, the hardest two years of my educational career. Once I graduated, I started working on a trauma surgical unit at a local hospital. The first few months were terrifying and I felt that somehow I was not prepared to be responsible for so many people and so many things all at once. I was extremely lucky and was taken under the wing of an experienced, kind and patient nurse who was my preceptor. I learned not only new skills but also time management and how to utilize the theory of caring as it was meant to be.

My first couple of months of orientation were the scariest of my life. I had trouble sleeping, had frequent nightmares and was scared to go to work some days. Everyone who I worked with encouraged me and never made me feel anything less than empowered and lifted up. Nursing is tough — there’s no doubt about that. As a nurse, you are not always valued or taken seriously. Patients are typically going through some of the worst days of their lives, and this leads to tensions and emotions running high.

I am thankful that I chose nursing as a career. Nursing can be extremely difficult, but it also is tremendously rewarding. You can see your efforts and hard work in motion every single day. Nurses make a difference every day. Nurses save lives every day.

Caroline Zak.

Midlothian.

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