When I first started nursing school, I was almost afraid that I wasn’t going to be a good nurse, mainly due to the negative comments of others. I had no confidence in myself and wondered if I belonged in my group of fellow nursing students. I felt that others didn’t believe in me, which led me to question believing in myself. But even though my confidence was low, I still worked hard throughout the program because I knew I had to try.
I had something to prove to myself, and I did: I graduated cum laude and proved that people with disabilities can be great nurses, and that there is a place for disabled people in the healthcare field. I realize now that I’m a very therapeutic and holistic caregiver. I am dedicated to helping people, whether by cleaning out a physical wound or an emotional one.
To the disabled community, I would tell them never to say “I can’t.” Rules and bones are meant to be broken. Society sometimes underestimates people with disabilities. I challenge disabled individuals to prove that society’s perception is wrong by following their dreams and not letting those who don’t believe to stop them from trying.
Kristal Nemeroff, RN-BSN, is a 23-year-old camp nurse at Mont Lawn Christian Summer Camp. She has a genetic bone disease called osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). She has broken her femurs 25 times, and has had 10 rodding surgeries of the femurs throughout her life. Her personal experiences with OI inspired her to pursue a career in nursing—many nurses impacted her life, and she wanted to give back and help others. Nemeroff believes people with disabilities can do great things. She has learned that adversity is a blessing, not a burden.
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