Is nursing too sad of a profession?

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If you hadn’t figured it out by now, I love nursing. I love being able to help people every day. When I first decided that this is what I wanted to do in my life, I got a lot of different responses, but one of the most common was, “Are you sure? Isn’t it sad?”  This comment became more and more prominent in conversations once I started telling people that I wanted to be a pediatric nurse. “It’s just so sad seeing those kids so sick” was what I heard all the time from people who had no idea what being a peds nurse was about.

Yes, it is sad. It’s terribly sad. But I can’t think of it that way. If I went to work everyday thinking about how sad it is that these children are so sick, I wouldn’t be able to function. It helps me to look at my job and say, “these kids ARE really sick and it’s very sad, so today, I am going to try to make them a little better, and I’m going to try to make them a little happier.”  That’s what I love to do. I love to make those kids smile. They’re so resilient that despite being sick, you can brighten up their day. Especially challenging are the days when I have kids so miserable I just can’t get a smile out of them. That’s when it starts to get hard.

Even harder so, as I am learning, are the kids we really just can’t help. The one’s whose situation, illness, family dynamic, and medical team don’t agree. When ethics come into play. When you want to be able to do everything to save someone, but legally you can’t do anything, because you’ve been overruled. It doesn’t happen often, but there are times when you don’t agree with what’s going on, but you have to consider all sides, and do what you can do to make life as good as possible for that patient at that time. Keep them happy as long as you can, hold them just a little longer, and pray and hope that when you’re doing all that you can do, that it’s enough for that one patient.

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