Happy New Year, everyone!
I survived my first semester of nursing school and as the title suggests, I’ve started my second semester refreshed and renewed.
With a full semester of nursing education under my belt, I spent my winter break utilizing my newly mastered skills and knowledge such as: eavesdropping on another nursing student talking to her friend at Starbucks, standing inside a drugstore for a good few minutes looking at the label of an over-the-counter drug, asking nursing questions to a friend who told me she is allergic to certain medications (“What happens when you take the drug?” “When was the last time you took it?”), and doing a health assessment on my mom. And other fun stuff.
I try to come up with a new year’s resolution each year–regardless of whether or not I remember it by the end. I had my pen and paper and thought for a good 10 minutes and the only thing I was able to jot down was: “Graduate Nursing School.”
So I put my pen down and started reading my leisure book, which a wonderful classmate has recommended to me (the perks of telling EVERYONE that you’re into geriatric nursing—people recommend you books, articles, movies…basically, everything concerning the aging population) titled: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande. It’s a definitely a great read and talks about quality of life.
“Quality of life”
From my geriatric background, I’ve always associated this to end-of-life, hospice care. But doesn’t quality of life pertain to all of us? Why wait until we are old to consider matters about quality of life? We are aging every moment we live anyways.
I constantly battle between what I want to do and what I should do (on a small scale, not playing with laws of course). Like, I really want a cookie at 10 PM, but I know I shouldn’t. But what if I had a really rough day and that cookie may make me a happier person again? In fact, I KNOW I would be happier after eating that cookie.
Our lives are more complex than a textbook definition of “this is the right thing to do.” After all, we’re human and not perfect. And our patients are human too. There is a compromise between logistics and patient’s wants, but what is more convenient or “right” in our books may not be what’s the right thing for the patient. (I won’t spoil too much of the book so for more details, you should read the book-Being Mortal.)
So after reading a few pages of my book, I picked up my pen and paper again and decided that this year, besides graduating nursing school, my new year’s resolution is to do what makes me happy and fulfilled. And I encourage my fellow nursing students to join me. It’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves/prioritize our happiness in an accelerated program
Please don’t be too hard on yourselves, remember your quality of life, and enjoy a year filled with nursing school adventures.
New Year. New Me. New You.