Prior to nursing school, I had no former experience working/interning as a nurse nor had I been exposed to the type of education required to be a nurse. However, a painful experience during the first semester of college made me realize how pivotal the role of the nurse is to mankind. Towards the end of my junior year of high school, I was told that I had gastroenteritis. After experiencing this short episode for one to two weeks, the inflammation became manageable and eventually ceased. Unfortunately, during my first semester of college the inflammation flared up again and this time I could not manage it, at least not on my own. Besides being in an unfamiliar environment and struggling to keep up with the demand of university courses, I also had to deal with an ailment that interfered with my physical well-being.
Whenever I was ill, my mother was responsible for my smooth recovery. She made sure that I was comfortable by preparing healthy meals, listening to and praying for me, and making sure that I was following the doctor’s orders. When I became ill on campus, I did not know what to do or where to go—I needed my mother. Eventually, I went to the infirmary and was treated. I stayed for a couple of days in the infirmary, but I remember on one of the nights a nurse entered my room and asked “How are you feeling?” My response relayed my physical well-being. Then she asked “Ok, but how are you feeling with being here on campus?” Then, it dawned on me. For the first time since I arrived on campus, I felt that someone actually cared about me. That night, I talked with the nurse about feeling homesick and wanting to be pain free from gastroenteritis; I felt as though I was talking to my very own mother. This therapeutic relationship that formed between the nurse and I helped me to heal from the inside out and to confidently say “nursing is what I want to do.”
As a sick person, I realized that the nurse could not physically feel my pain but only help to treat it. However, she also treated other parts of my health in the process by lending a listening ear and displaying empathy. Thus, I chose nursing school because I wanted to give a similar type of care to my patients so that they could experience the “piece of heaven” that I felt when I was in a vulnerable stage in my life.