As I age gracefully and embrace my older self I realise that my career as a nurse has given me so much to be thankful for. I trained in Waterford Regional Hospital [Ardkeen as it was known then1977-1980] and I have a few very good friends from those years. We don’t see each other too often, but no matter how much time passes we naturally connect. If ever I need anything, I can call, and the same goes for them. This natural friendship stems from spending our formative years together. From 18 to 21, we lived, worked and partied together. It really was quite a unique experience. We lived in the nurse’s home and were thrown into the deep end of the reality of sickness, of birth, death and everything in between.
Our 18 yr old selves faced a multitude of challenges that were beyond anything we had ever experienced before. Challenges that made us grow up fast and unknowingly thought us so much about life. Challenges that we survived because we were all in the one boat and we had each other. Sure, who else would understand but us. They were challenging, sad, hilarious, funny times that deserve their place in a book I will write someday.
Fast forward to the present day. The older me can safely say that nurses are just great. It really is only in later years that I appreciate and understand the wealth of experience we have. Facing the brutal harsh reality of illness on a daily basis means there is no room for anything else but realness and honesty. We have seen it all and been present to so many moments of life and death. What a privilege that is. What a levelling and humbling experience it is to walk in our shoes daily. In every area I have worked in, the bond with each other has been strong.
We have so much common sense, are good in a crisis and we’re not a bit afraid to muck in to any situation presented to us. Sure, we are just great and I don’t have a big head….just speaking the truth for all nurses out there.!!
Thank you to all my colleagues along the way. To all the younger nurses reading this, appreciate who you are, what you do and always stay true to yourselves.
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