Several months ago my youngest daughter graduated nursing school and moved 500 miles from home to work in a hospital. Soon after she started the job she became more and more anxious about her new career. She worried that she’d made the wrong decision with nursing. The patient/nurse ratio was overwhelming, the other nurses were proficient and confident while she second-guessed everything she did. A few doctors were demeaning and condescending and she started calling home every couple of nights with increasing panic.
I encouraged and consoled and used my best confidence-building pep talks during these calls but I worried. I was out of my league here. I could no more be a nurse than fly to the moon. I lack empathy. I mean I have plenty of empathy but it wears thin pretty quick. Plus, there’s the whole blood, vomit, urine, feces issue. My husband’s morning breath nearly sends me to the emergency room so I can’t imagine trying to work with actual shit on my uniform. Forget about it. I’d rather wait tables. Well. No. Not that either. Excessively hungry people make me a little stabby. Either way, I was running out of encouragement for my daughter and starting to feel panicky myself.
About that time I stumbled into Linda @Nutsrok, a blogger who has become one of my favorite storytellers. Her posts are sweet and familiar reminisces of her childhood that make me think back to a time in my own life when things were simpler. She shares wild tales from her mother’s childhood and writes with a comedic style that never fails to make me laugh out-loud. Storytelling is a special kind of skill and not everybody can do it well. Linda has mastered it.
It turns out Linda is a retired nurse and I shared the concerns about my daughter’s new nursing career. Linda assured me that my daughter’s panic was completely normal. In time, she told me, my daughter would gain the confidence and experience that would confirm her career choice was the right one.
Not everybody can be a nurse either. I’m almost certain that if there is a heaven, good nurses go straight there when they die. No Purgatory, no Pearly Gates. Just straight up there with the Big Guy. I’m not 100 percent sure about doctors but nurses get a free pass to eternity.
Linda was right about my daughter and I’m now the lucky recipient of frequent text messages describing strange illnesses, festering wounds, projectile bleeding and Rorschach shit patterns on nursing scrubs. I’m so relieved.
To honor Linda for her words of wisdom and her funny stories, I’m posting a recent text I received. It may only be funny to nurses. Either way, If you’re a fan of good storytelling, you’ll love Nutsrok.