Were you scared when you first started all this nursing stuff?

This spring, my husband is starting a rotation in a hospital, as part of his seminary program, to complete a CPE unit for chaplaincy. I never thought we would both be doing hospital work, but I am really excited for him to be in my neck of the words. When we married 17 yrs ago we had no idea we would both end up working in a hospital!

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Anyway, the other night he came home after his first orientation meeting and said he felt very overwhelmed by the hospital environment. My first instinct was to tell him he’ll get over it…

Instead, I kept my mouth shut (for once) and listened as he explained how nervous he was (unusual for him) and how he hoped he could help people in the midst of trauma, birth to death, extreme illness and grief.

Then he asked, “Were you scared when you first started all this nursing stuff?” How soon he forgets: I was a bit of a basket case in nursing school and in my first job! He stuck through it all.

Of course, he wasn’t there the first time I walked into a patient’s room, my heart pounding. Or the time I had to place a catheter in my first male patient, and how my hands shook. Or my very first day on the job as a new nurse and how I spent most of it in the bathroom with diarrhea.

Can we really relate to others how it feels to profoundly impact other people’s lives–whether we physically save them, psychologically keep them safe, or spiritually support them? Unless you are there with us, on the floor as a nurse, doctor, social worker, physical therapist, chaplain, CNA (the list goes on) you will never know the fear–the JOY–involved in hospital work. It is heaven and hell, I think!

It takes a brave person to walk into a patient’s room for the first time and offer to help. Healthcare workers are heroes. I’m so proud of my husband for stepping up and walking into my world!

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Amy Bozeman

Amy is many things: a blogger, a nurse, a wife, a mom, a childbirth educator. She started her journey towards a career in nursing when she got pregnant with her first child. After nursing school and studying "like she has never studied before" she entered the nursing profession eager to get her feet wet. The first years provided her with much exposure to sadness, joy and other complex human emotions. She feels that blogging is a wonderful outlet and a way for nurse bloggers to further build their community. Traditionally, midwives have handed down their skill set from midwife to apprentice midwife. She believes nurses have this same opportunity: to pass from nurse to new nurse the rich traditions of this profession.

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5 Responses to Were you scared when you first started all this nursing stuff?

  1. Christina

    I am still in nursing school and everyday I am scared. I wonder if I am making the right decision. I know I love people and I want to help them but I always wonder if I know enough or if I will be able to do enough for my patients. I am scared every single day I go to clinicals. I can’t wait until this terrified feeling will start to fade away. I am happy to hear that someone else felt the exact same way as I do, and everything worked out for you. I know that I will be ok too.

  2. carla

    That is why nursing is so amazing, there are so many different types of places that you can work in as a nurse. You will find a place that you really fit in and it will be all worth it.

  3. patti

    The drs used to scare and intimidate the hell out of me when I first started ….not anymore

  4. I was really scared the first yr and half. Going on 3 yrs now and I feel more confident with my pts. and staff. Everyone has to work together. It’s all about the patients. Take one day at a time. Everyday something else is going on.

  5. tatiana

    I remember being so afraid to introduce myself to my patients in clinicals in nursing school…I would find reasons to put it off! However, I look back now and think that how I am no longer afraid to do that now, a year and 2 months after landing my first RN position. I have grown so much in this and other areas, and I have much more growing to do!