My sister, Michelle, posted this picture of my niece on her Facebook page the other day. Danielle starts her first nursing clinicals this Thursday. Per Danielle, she is "scared sh*&less". (She may be scared, but oh my word, she is adorable!)
Thinking about how she was feeling made me remember my own first day of clinicals, at the ripe old age of eighteen. Having to give someone a bedbath and learn how to make a bed with a patient still in it were the first tasks I learned. A kind touch, an attentive ear and a gentle spirit when caring for a hurting soul were skills that took a bit longer to master. I was very worried about learning the technical aspects of nursing. It was later that I realized that anyone can give a bath or change a bed, but it takes a special kind of nurse to connect with a patient and show them that they are cared for. You don't make that connection with every patient you meet, but the ones you do, you remember forever.
Danielle already has these traits. She is kind and gentle, and especially loves caring for the elderly population. She is incredibly smart (can you say 4.0?!) but also knows that she has a lot to learn to become a great nurse. I told her I would be worried if she wasn't scared; as nurses, our patients' lives are in our hands. We need to take that responsibility seriously if we are to make a difference.
I'm so stinkin' proud of this girl. I can't wait to see the kind of nurse she grows up to be!