Sometimes I can hear one sentence on the news and get the urge to write about it. It’s so easy to research topics on the web. It seems like it was last week that whenever I was required to do research it meant hour after hour in the school’s library using the card catalog and then going to the stacks to see if the book was on the shelf. That always took me so much time. My brain and body always seemed to function much slower than anyone else’s.
I remember one time in nursing school when I had three patients. It took forever to find information about their diseases in those big dusty medical volumes. It was a teaching hospital and we never seemed to have ordinary patients. We had patients with afflictions such as anorexia nervosa or Hirschsprung disease. I was only able to find material on two of them before the library started to close. Usually we were only given two patients anyways. I can’t remember why I had three.
The instructor randomly asked us to report briefly on our patients. Different students had to report each class. She called on me and asked about the one patient I knew little about. The reason I had left him to last was that he was being discharged that day anyway. I did not have the courage to face her and tell her that he was being discharged and that I was fully prepared to report on the other two. At the end of the quarter at the final review, it was noted that I didn’t care enough to research the diseases of my patients. That was only one of things mentioned on the last report. I didn’t or couldn’t offer a rebuttal.
Now students can find information very quickly. It frustrates them if it takes more than five minutes to download the information they need. Of course if I were in nursing school today, I would undoubtably have my own laptop in my own room. There would be no reason to go to the main library when I could access it from my own study area. Maybe things would have turned out differently if I had had complete quick access to the problems of my patients back then.
Not having that information was only one of the strikes against me that quarter. Since I began volunteering again in the hospital, I realize I really would not have made a good nurse. There are so many other jobs now in the hospital I could have pursued and have been much happier. Had it not been for that lack of information about my patient, perhaps I could have made it through school and become the nurse I wanted to become.
So many of my friends believe that all things happen for a reason. Perhaps I was not meant to be prepared for that third patient in class that day. Perhaps that was the start of my new path in life that I was meant to take. If I had had the access to all the information I needed for the next day, perhaps I would not have started to doubt myself about other performances and decisions that happened that quarter. I would not have lived with the stinging remarks of that nursing instructor that day who made my life so miserable. One can not be a good nurse without self-confidence. That one act started the eroding of my confidence that continued for the next seven weeks. It’s a strange word…perhaps. Perhaps students thirty years from now will think sitting five minutes at a computer would be way too much time to spend researching. Perhaps another young future nurse will be able to be prepared with information on ten or twenty patients and have time left over. Who knows the answers to all the perhaps times in our lives. Perhaps all things happen for a reason.