Need some nursing motivation? Go find it!

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Hello, everyone! And welcome to another lovely yet stressful week. (But hopefully, this post can distract you from some of your stressors, even if just for a moment, or provide some needed encouragement to you for the weeks ahead.) If you’re a native to the area, you know that Columbus, Georgia is finally experiencing some cold, winter-like weather. Depending on your preferences, this may be a reason to rejoice or a reason to slouch and grouch more–I’m definitely experiencing a bit of both. But it’s certainly nice to have a change in patterns and a break from the dreadful Georgia heat. 

Now, on to the focus of today’s post: motivation for nursing. While persisting through the pre-nursing and/or nursing track proves that you have some kind of commitment to the field of nursing, you doubtless have moments of…well., doubt. Like I said in one of my earlier posts, questions of doubt aren’t uncommon–and they’re not unique to nursing! We all express some uncertainty in our paths in life, and quite frankly, that’s okay; that’s how we know the choice is important and deserves patience, exploration, and open-mindedness. That’s why today, I’m stressing to you the benefit of finding experiential opportunities, and since telling you the logical reasons behind such a recommendation is boring, I’ll be sharing with you a recent personal story.

As I very briefly mentioned in my post about ways to deal with stress, I am the owner (to me, the mother) of three turtles. Now, typically, my turtles don’t experience health issues, and if they do, they’re often mild and treatable with at-home remedies. However, very rarely, one of my turtles will end up with a major health problem that requires vet attention. Two weeks ago was one of those times. The Thursday of that week, I had noticed that one of my turtles, Clover, had a swollen, inflamed cloaca. (The cloaca, or vent, is the hole in a turtle’s tail where the urinary, digestive, and reproductive tracts all converge.) This was concerning because it could indicate anything from a parasitic infection to large calcium deposits (stones) that were blocking the passageway and, depending on the severity and cause(s), could even lead to death if left untreated. As soon as I could the next morning, I called the Animal General Hospital and scheduled an appointment with one of the vets who specializes in exotic pets.

Fast forward through the appointment, the vet told me that she suspected parasites as the cause of the symptoms and gave me oral medications (dewormers) that I had to administer once per day for three consecutive days–and then repeat three weeks later if I noticed improvements. She also recommended that I flush Clover’s cloaca two to three times per week with a diluted betadine solution. Well, needless to say, I started on the treatment immediately, and though it definitely wasn’t easy (I mean, have you tried giving a turtle oral medications??), I soon found that I enjoyed the experience. Transferring the oral medication to three-milliliter syringes with flexible (and thus harmless–no needles) Introcan Safety IV catheters, administering the medication while making sure Clover didn’t spit it all up, preparing and administering the betadine solution, and assessing Clover’s symptoms daily all filled me with a passion similar to when I had volunteered at the hospital. I even thought to myself multiple times, “This is like nursing, and I love it!” 

Sure, my patient wasn’t human, but I know that my purpose is to serve other people, and despite that, the actions I carried out for Clover’s treatment were very similar to the ones I’d be doing as a nurse. Thus, the specific scenario may have been different, but the underlying experience was almost identical to what I’m pursuing as a career. And though there was some frustration and disappointment (one, Clover is stubborn to open her mouth, and two, it took some time before Clover experienced the full effects of the medication), I found myself smiling and laughing more often than not. I was helping improve my turtle’s health and quality of life, and it felt awesome! I know deep down that I will feel the same way when providing that same care as a nurse.

So, if you’re still questioning your career path–and especially if the uncertainty is worrying you–seek opportunities to experience that career firsthand! Simply placing yourself in the environment or carrying out one or two basic tasks is enough, and the emotional rewards are undeniably invaluable. And what if you find out that your intended career path isn’t for you after all? Well, that’s okay too! Write down why you feel the career isn’t a good match for you, think of what you’d prefer instead, and do some research on your other options. You’ll soon find one that meets your needs and preferences and that brings you enough joy and motivation to combat any doubts. 

I sincerely hope that you’re able to find the motivation that you need.

As always,

Nursing students unite!