Definition of Nursing
According to the International Council of Nurses (2019) “Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups, and communities, sick or well and in all settings. Nursing includes the promotion of health, prevention of illness, and the care of ill, disabled and dying people. Advocacy, promotion of a safe environment, research, participation in shaping health policy and in patient and health systems management, and education are also key nursing roles.”
A Young Girl’s Definition of Nursing
As a young girl I can recall the doctor making house visits. My mother would call him when my brother or myself were sick and he would come to the house to see us. He came in with his stethoscope wrapped around his neck and his little black bag of medical instruments. He also came with his nurse, the lady with the big needles! No matter what he diagnosed us with we always ended up getting a shot with them big shiny needles. I swore that nurse was digging for gold when she inserted that needle into my bottom. The pain from the injection hurt, but not as much as the penicillin that burned deep under the skin surface. The nurse did her best to comfort me by giving me a tasty lollipop, which made the pain go away!
A Teenager’s Definition of Nursing
As a teenager, I remember my mom taking me to the doctors because I had stepped on a nail. I was apprehensive to go, but my foot hurt, and it was becoming increasingly swollen. I thought they would apply medicine to the wound and put a bandage around it. I never thought I would have to get a shot, but in walked the nurse smiling carrying that same big needle. I remember telling the nurse, “I’m not sick.” She said, “This shot is because you stepped on a nail, it’s called a Tetanus shot, it helps to prevent muscle stiffness and lockjaw”. I said, “Okay” and the she gave me the shot in arm. Ouch! Not really, the shot was not that bad, and the nurse did a good job explaining why it was important for me to get the shot.
A Young Woman’s Definition of Nursing
As a young woman, I found out that the doctor no longer made house calls. I had to call his office and make an appointment to see him. Initially, I was excited because I got to choose when to see him, which meant that I may not have to see that “nurse with the big needle.” Unfortunately, luck was not on my side and as I walked into his office that “nurse” greeted me. My jaw dropped to the ground as I saw her standing there at the desk. My first instinct was to run, but my sore throat was killing me. So, I sat and waited until I was called back to see the doctor. When my name was called, I was taken back to a room where I sat and waited for the doctor to come in. While I was waiting the nurse took my blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. The nurse seemed friendly, but I was sure she was measuring me up for a shot. Suddenly the doctor walked in and did a quick exam of my throat and state, “Yup, you have strep throat,” he said. He then turned to the nurse and said, “Give her some penicillin.” I thought I was going to pass out, but lo and behold the nurse walked in with pills that were penicillin. I was a happy camper and the nurse became my favorite nurse!
An Adult’s Definition of Nursing
Over the years, I have been a patient a few times who had the opportunity to experience real world of bedside nursing. The care that I received was provided by various types of health care providers, but mostly by nurses. The nurses who cared for me always seemed accomplished and skillful as they performed their job, even if they had a big needle. As I got older I came to realize that nurses no longer stood behind the doctor, they stood beside the doctor which made a huge impression on me as well as my respect for the nursing profession.
A Nurse’s Definition of Nursing
My admiration for nursing grew as well as my desire to become a nurse, so I returned back to school and obtained a nursing degree. As I write this blog I will have been a nurse for 17 years. I now stand shoulder to shoulder with the finest nurses and have come to realize that the true meaning of nursing is “Someone who wants to help transform lives, one patient at a time.” It is a privilege and an honor to be a part of so many lives and it is and has been a rewarding and humbling experience. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Please visit the NurseAvatar website next month for new information on Nursing until then keep the lantern lit!