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Middle-aged nurse

  Facing the turning point of life
  
  Another Saturday evening came, and the restaurant was full of customers. As a waitress, I greeted a few familiar customers, tied up my apron, took up my pen and notebook, and walked to the first table of guests: a gray-haired woman and her four teenage girls. Boy, they have never patronized this restaurant before.
  ”You are welcome. My name is Denise, and I will serve you…” I said to my new guests in my usual language. The woman then chatted with me about the weather and the orange flags and jerseys of the local football team that hang on the dining room wall. “You’ll love the tender chicken nuggets we bake,” I said to one of her sons, who had already ordered dishes. Afterwards, I sent the ordered menu to the kitchen.
  I’ve been a restaurant waiter for 20 years. Twenty years ago, restaurant waiter was a good career for me. I was newly married at the time and liked to be on the go – still taking 13 tables with ease, and that kind of work had more flexible hours. When my daughter Howrie was born, I switched to work at night so I could pick her up from school and spend most of the afternoon with her.
  I got divorced when I was 42, when Howie was about to finish high school. I’m glad I’ve had a job all those years, especially when I’m still doing a job I love. But one thing is a little disturbing, my life seems to be changing.
  One day at work, I heard three colleagues who were studying nursing beaming about the problems in the course, and their excitement was so contagious. I also dreamed of going to college at one point, but never seriously considered what to major in. But I know that I love doing work that helps others and doing things that make a difference in people’s lives. The more I listened to my colleagues, the more I wanted to become a nurse myself.
  After receiving a group of guests, waiting for the next group or waiting for the food, my mind sometimes wanders. Instead of putting on a waiter’s overalls, tying up an apron, and serving chicken wings and fries to my guests, I’m in my fantasy, but after sterilizing my arms, with a stethoscope around my neck, I come to patients, perform heart and lung examinations, and test them. Distribute medicines.
  Then, I came back to my senses. This is no joke. These colleagues are all much younger than me, not even a few years older than my daughter—they’re all on the cusp of finding a career. But when I’m middle age, is it too late to change anything?
  Besides, I don’t even know which nursing school would accept me. In middle school, I hung out with a bunch of troublesome teenagers and dropped out of school soon after. Afterwards, I got back on my feet and got a general education level certificate, but I didn’t do well in all subjects. How much do I know about the profession of nursing? I asked myself. The only time I was in the hospital was when I gave birth to my daughter. If I spend the money and energy to go to nursing school, do I just want to find myself dizzy at the sight of bleeding?
  I write down the menus for a few tables and walk back to the kitchen. “Hey, there’s an order for five tables here, how long will it take?” I asked one of the chefs.
  ”Soon, Denise,” he said, “wait here.”
  The moment of standing there in silence made me think again. In this restaurant, I have been working the evening shift, plus, as a sergeant in the church, 20 hours a week. Would such a schedule make it possible for me to take the full course?
  Encouragement and inspiration One day
  soon after, I talked to my daughter about my thoughts. We are a very close mother and daughter, and I know I can get honest advice from her. “Holly, what do you think about me changing jobs?” I asked.
  ”Mom, what do you want to do?” she asked.
  ”Let’s say it’s just…” I struggled to find the right word to explain it. “I’m thinking about serving society in a different way. Of course I’m serving people now, but I want to change to another, more important way. Maybe a nurse or something. What do you think?”
  Howie sat down There, watching me quietly with those brown eyes. I know this idea is kind of crazy. “Mom, you’re serious, aren’t you? You’re going to be a great nurse!” she commented, “I haven’t seen anyone else work as hard as you. You’re my role model forever. I know you’ll be in the future. It will also do well for your patients.”
  So should I give up a career I’ve been doing my entire adult life – a career I’ve been very comfortable with. Can I adapt to an unknown profession? I’m a high school dropout, if I study biology and chemistry, will I be able to handle those courses?
  ”Denise, the food is served!” Pull back to reality. I thanked the chef and brought the finished dish to the work surface. At the table of the female guest with 4 children, I placed the dishes in front of them each, and figured out that I would not misplace their respective dishes. At this time, a son of the female guest touched his mother. “Mom, tell her what you just said to me,” he said, turning his head over to me. “Tell this lady.”
  ”Well, I said you might be a good nurse,” the gray-haired lady explained to me.
  ”A… a nurse?” I asked.
  ”Yes. I have been a nurse myself for 30 years. I have observed you. With your outgoing personality and strong work ability, you must be qualified for the job of a nurse, if you are a nurse.”
  ”Thank you very much for your judgment, “I say. As I walked to the next table, I had a silent prayer in my heart, thank goodness! There could be no more coincidence and clear revelation.
  
  Self-Taught Nursing
  
  I soon enrolled in nursing at a community college and opted for a two-year self-study program that allowed me to take many tests online. Since then, my pace of life has accelerated – immersed in work and study throughout the day.
  Once a week our enrolled students go to the hospital for a clinical placement – working directly with patients, it’s a practice I love. Change floors every 8 weeks: Surgery, Pediatrics, Plastic Surgery, Obstetrics… There is a lot to learn, and it’s more difficult than a semester.
  Most nights, I don’t go to bed until 2 o’clock. I get up at 7 in the morning and catch up on reading for a while before going to work at church. Sometimes I take a nap in the afternoon to avoid dozing off in front of the computer.
  The hard work paid off – I passed test after test with honors. Hao Li always likes to joke with me, saying that her grades are always not as good as mine. Still, I was a little nervous when the final exam came, the most difficult business operation before graduation. I’m in the final sprint for my degree, and I don’t want to fall short on this exam.
  ”Your treatment time is 30 minutes,” an instructor told me, pointing to four mannequins that acted as “patients.” I took a pre-printed, numbered internship program from him. One of the “patients” had severe high blood pressure; another was scheduled for a CT scan; the third was “groaning” in pain; the last was scheduled to take daily medication, etc.
  My task is to prioritize “patients” based on their condition, and then deal with them effectively and calmly. No mistakes can be made during operation. Because in the real world, being wrong can be fatal.
  The exam has started. I first double-checked each patient’s name and date of birth, and then triple-checked the medications each “patient” was taking. I double-check these “patients” against the medication and medication orders when they are transferred from the dispenser to the hospital bed. It’s a bit like double-checking the menu at a restaurant so you don’t get the wrong dish. In the end, I delivered the medication to the various ‘patients’ as prescribed. The whole process made me feel a bit like taking orders and rushing to deliver food between 13 tables in a restaurant on a Saturday night. I finished the exam in less than 30 minutes.
  ”Well done. said the examiner, “you passed.” ”
  
  Finally became a Vocational Nurse
  
  In March 2005, at the age of 44, I became a full-time registered nurse in the Neurology Department of a large medical teaching institution at the University Hospital (unive rslcyHosplt a1).
  Now, 5 years have passed. During these years, I served 5 patients a day, doing a variety of different things during my shift. In addition to dispensing medicine, hanging saline, injecting, etc., I also helped patients get up, shake the bed, transport medical equipment… My legs walk a lot every day – and I’m used to this kind of physical activity as a restaurant waiter.
  Believe it or not, there is no essential difference between serving 5 patients and running around 13 tables in a restaurant. While the stakes are higher, the functional requirements are somewhat similar: both careers require focus, confidence, energy, and a genuine attitude toward others.
  I used to be proud of being a waitress, and now I am proud of being a nurse. What’s even more gratifying is that Haoli is currently studying some preparatory courses and is preparing to go to nursing school.
  What the gray-haired woman who ate at the restaurant made about me and her claims turned out to be true. I never saw her again after that. It was her words that inspired me to realize that it is never too late to change my life experience and move in a new direction.

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