Nine years ago I started out my nursing career, just a little 15 year old doing her AIN certificate at TAFE.
At age 16 on my first prac I had my first death of a patient.
At age 17 I was verbally abused by my first IV drug user.
At age 18 I got punched for the first time and had my first emergency situation.
At age 19 I had to make my first phone call to tell someone their loved one had passed away.
I was 21 the first time I zipped someone my own age into a body bag, and at 23 I had my first coroner’s case.
I’ve seen people fall to their knees hearing news.
I’ve spent hours trying to save a life only to walk into the next room and cop abuse for “taking too long”.
I’ve seen doctors cry when their all isn’t enough.
I’ve heard loved ones scream for help as a family member goes into an arrest.
I’ve nursed murderers and paedophiles and treated them with the same dignity and respect I would anyone.
I’ve watched people shake their deceased loved one yelling for them to come back.
I’ve seen blood stained walls and floors, I’ve seen people try to take their own life.
I’ve seen pain, hurt and anger and worn the frustration.
I’ve watched mothers and fathers, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, partners, and friends say their final goodbyes.
At age 18 I got my first nursing position and got to make a difference to people’s lives.
At age 19 I witnessed my first birth of a child.
At age 20 I scrubbed in on my first surgery and got to watch my first life-saving operation.
At age 21 I scrubbed in and watched a cesarean.
At age 22 I graduated and got my first hospital nursing position and got to help save lives on a daily basis… and I got to start witnessing miracles.
I’ve watched a dad hold his first born for the first time, a single mother hold her first daughter for the first time.
I’ve witnessed many hold their loved ones for the last time and witnessed the purest forms of love.
I’ve learned that death can sometimes be a beautiful thing and see so much peace where I once saw so much pain.
I’ve been on the other end of a first hug after someone found out they were cancer-free.
I’ve had the honour of holding hands as people have taken their last breaths.
I’ve been present for so many laughs and genuine love and care.
I’ve seen the kindest of hearts and people at their most vulnerable.
I’ve witnessed old-school love and been told the most incredible stories by the elderly.
And I haven’t even begun to mention the incredible souls I’ve met and worked with along the way.
These eyes have seen more than you can imagine. But I wouldn’t change any of it for a thing.
Sure, some days are hard and it can take its toll, but there is nothing else in this world I could do.
Being a nurse isn’t just a profession, it’s who you are. You don’t ever stop being a nurse.
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