A student’s personal journey through the nursing program
Shawn Reed — Editor-in-Chief
I am convinced that Queen and David Bowie wrote “Under Pressure” after speaking to a room full of nursing students. I think it’s safe to say as I scan my classroom that everyone is burned out. There is this uneasy surge in emotion that closely resembles desperation. Secretly we’re all thinking the same thing. We’re all wondering when this will end, if it will end, and if it will have to be done again. In our dreams we hear call bells and wake screaming normal values, and pathophysiology of diseases we may never treat.
My brain is fried. My words tend to fall out of my mouth and land in the ears of those listening to me in a disjointed series of stories as I find myself desperately trying to remember how to speak. I find myself thinking in pictures and images and wishing that I could somehow download those images to other people.
Sometimes I imagine that my classmates and I are in some sort of sick reality show. I keep wondering when someone will tell me that I’ve won a new car, but when I open my eyes I’m still staring at a 1991 Buick Century.
I think the thing that reminds me why I get out of bed and do this to myself are the stories I collect from patients and their families. On those days when I am not in a class room, or hunched over a book, the clinical floor serves to reconnect my heart with the reason why I chose nursing as a career. I don’t really care about tasks that some view as tedious like the filling of water, or the cleaning of a patient because I view these as an exercise in trust.
The problem therein lies; I can not turn the collector in me off. I think somewhere I must have a sign on my forehead that says, “Tell me your story,” because I’ve had far too many instances lately of strangers asking for my help in one way or another. Now this would be fine if I wasn’t so tapped mentally that every request outside of those I am tasked to do irritates me. As I write this in the “Live Wire” office I am listening to the chattering of people talking next door in the piano room. I’m finding my coping skills aren’t what they should be. I realize I have started to hate the sound of my own name. This is not negativity but rather honesty. It is honest of me to say that I, like other people, do have a limit on the amount of empathy or concentration I am able to muster at any given time.
I write a line, listen to the incessant giggling next door, and then watch a Vine only to come back trying to make sense of my last sentence. I imagine this is what an egg must feel like before it hits a pan, only the difference is it takes much less time to cook scrambled eggs than the twenty or so days left of this semester.
My tolerance and my resolve is wavering. I find myself pushing on only because there is a voice buried somewhere in my head that assures me the light at the end of the tunnel is actually a race of alien beings who have come to save me.
This semester was busier than most. As I turn over the reins of the Student Nursing Organization (SNO) to a new group of capable, and talented nursing students I feel somewhat relieved. I’m hopeful that I may one day be able to tolerate the sound of my name and the muffled giggling of people in the piano room.