A recent news article discusses a nurse who first started working in oncology in Philadelphia as a student nurse in 2003. Since that time, she has worked in all sorts of specialties – ambulatory care to women’s health, in all of her time in nursing. She did at one time want to become a doctor, so she became a nurse because she knew she had to have a bachelor’s degree to get into a US medical school.
She notes that there have been many rewarding and profound moments in her nursing career, but our society tends to look down on and belittle the nursing profession as a whole. And nurses sometimes can belittle themselves too. Nurses are human, and sometimes they have moments where they underestimate themselves, their careers and their accomplishments. There also are times when their autonomy as a health care provider is intruded upon, and their judgement is questioned. Sometimes people disregard their opinions because they are just nurses.’
This nurse, Ajarat Barada, writes about one of the most profound moments in her whole career. It occurred on an airplane at 35,000 feet on an 11 hour plane ride to the US from Europe.
Attention to detail
Problem solving skills
She was going home to LA after she had gone to a nursing conference. About two hours into the plane ride, she heard the flight attendant make an announcement that they needed a doctor in business class.
Barada always carries her credentials and ID, just in case if she could not get back home that she would have everything she needs for her professional life.
She woke up and went to business class and told them she is a nurse. They said that they already had a doctor. She went back to her seat and went to sleep. But she was woken up when another announcement was made – asking for the nurse to come back in business class.
The gentleman who was ill was dehydrated, and he had diarrhea and vomiting. He needed an IV put in so fluids and electrolytes could be replaced. The plane was hours from any city and it would not be good for him to be dehydrated for many more hours. She went through the on board medical kit and found an IV. Putting in the IV is fairly basic nursing procedure, but at times, an IV can really be the difference between life and death.
Although Barada is now working more in public policy, she still is occasionally beset by a feeling of pride and honor at being a nurse.
A friend knocked on her door recently who was having trouble breathing. She said that she came to her because she knew she is a nurse. She was having an asthma attack. They went together to find her Albuterol inhaler, and she felt a great deal of pride and gratitude that she is a nurse.
Situations like Barada describes show how important it is to keep one’s nursing skills sharp and up to date.