The Personal Side of Nursing: Insights from an Experienced RN

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As a first-year nursing student, I think it is important to talk to nurses who have already been working for a few years about their job. It helps us understand what nursing is like on a more personal level. Statistics and research can only tell you so much about the field, whereas talking to someone who lives in it can tell you what it's like on a day-to-day basis. I interviewed RN Cynthia Williams. I found her online and emailed her my questions since I couldn't find any registered nurses nearby that were willing to talk with me, and I don't have a vehicle yet.

Cynthia received her BSN degree from the University of Tennessee, and she is currently working on her MSN at Northern Illinois University. Throughout the interview, she repeatedly mentioned how much she loves her job and the people she meets. She has been a nurse for almost ten years now, yet she's still just as caring as she was when she started. She has wanted to be a nurse since she was a child because she loves helping people.

Cynthia Williams mentioned to me that she doesn't like our healthcare system. She says we focus more on the sick than we do on preventive care, as mentioned in our notes (Connie Stopper, 2016). She thinks health care in the United States should focus more on preventative care; we should teach people how to avoid getting diseases or illnesses.

Cynthia says she is the only nurse working at her office, so she does most of the work herself, and there aren't any meetings held there for her department. She stated that her schedule is flexible and that she doesn't deal with as many stressors in a workday as a nurse in the ER would have. She says she is a part of INA and ISAPN, both of which are nursing associations in Illinois. Cynthia says she is not as involved in either as she would like to be, and she said she wanted to start devoting more of her time to them.

When I asked if she would choose to nurse again if she could go back, Cynthia said, of course, she would. She said she loved her job and that she would make the same choice again and again. The only thing she would change was that she wishes she would've studied acupuncture, and she wishes she would've practiced holistic medicine sooner than she did.

Her most memorable experience happened when she was working in the surgery unit of a hospital. She said that she had been looking after a hospice patient, an older man, for several days before he passed. Afterward, the man's daughter gave Cynthia a big hug and said she appreciated everything Cynthia had done for him in the days before his death. Cynthia said that she hadn't forgotten it, and the appreciation of family members is part of why she does what she does.

Her advice to me was to figure out exactly what kind of nurse I wanted to be early on, so I knew where I wanted to go after school. She also said not to let more seasoned nurses taint my idea of what a nurse should be. They may have had a few bad experiences, but that shouldn't change how I treat my patients. Cynthia said to always listen to my patients and to remain caring, no matter what is going on. This is exactly what Hildegarde Peplau thought how a nurse should be.

What surprised me about the interview was how passionate Cynthia Williams seemed to be about her job. Both my grandmother and my one uncle had been in nursing homes before they passed away, and a lot of the nurses I had seen there seemed to dislike their job. I think it's nice to see nurses who are proud of what they do and nurses who treat their patients like actual people instead of just another number.

During this interview, I learned that those who have been in the field longer may not always know best based on what Cynthia had said in her advice to me. It is true that they have seen more things, but I think sometimes they become too involved with the work aspect of it and forget to treat their patients on a more personal level. Things like asking about a patient's day or starting a conversation with a patient who seems depressed are just as important as administering medication and checking vital signs.

It is important for new nursing students to talk with nurses who are in practice, so new nurses get a better understanding of the personal side of the field. Schooling can teach you so much, but an experienced nurse can tell you what it's like from their current point of view. Sometimes what you learn may even contradict what a nurse may tell you.

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The Personal Side of Nursing: Insights from an Experienced RN. (2023, Mar 08). Retrieved May 22, 2024 , from

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