nursing journey · reflections

A Nurse’s Confession: Epiphany of the little things

“We don’t just do what we do. We do it for a purpose. It may be small, but in the end seeing a difference in someone’s life pays it all.”

I am a nurse.

I belong to the population of gorgeous human beings alive. And I humbly believe that we are one of the many great professions there is. Yet, in reality many nurses endure the struggle of keeping up with their passion. Inevitably true that some days, you no longer feel fulfilled in what you do as a nurse; those times when you felt like every waking day for work is just a dreadful one; always looking forward for every day-off to actually runaway from all the noise and chaos of the hospital environment. And for a second, does it ever cross your mind how different your life will be if you did not enter nursing? Has your inspiration wandered aimlessly through the narrow streets? Have you lost your inner compassion? For a brief moment of adversity and toxicity we all did, right?

Imagine life without those sleepy night shifts. No more vital signs taking every now and then. No more back pains related to positioning your bedbound patients. No more loads of paperwork. No more unending sounds of beeping machines. No more people calling your name here, there and everywhere. No more stressful days and toxicity. No more arguments in triage bay. No more people taking your job as a nurse for granted. No more skipping timely meals. No more panic attacks. No more rollercoaster mood swings. No more days when losing your own patience felt like easier than memorizing a mnemonic of a disease. No full bladders and tired feet.

And my list could go on…

However, I am not writing to whine over my job. I am writing to express and always have been passionate about inspiring people and myself through the comfort of words.

Let’s briefly take a moment of nostalgia…

Now, imagine your first nursing uniform, how does it felt when you first worn it? How does your day go after work when you helped save a life or two? How does it felt listening to an old grandma about stories and life’s lesson? How does your heart skipped a beat seeing a genuine smile from your difficult toddler patient? How does it felt having a doctor say that they can’t do it all alone without us nurses? How does it felt seeing your patient discharge after all the headache they put you through? How does it made you feel seeing a dying person survived and given his second chance to live? How does it made you appreciate life, death, health and illness more? How does it turned out doing nothing but just holding someone’s hand and being there make them feel braver? How can we trade those moments with something trivial? We don’t earn grand in this profession but we are rich with these simple rewarding moments.

These little things that people in other disciplines don’t get to encounter everyday. We don’t get to tell other people this because this is so cliché, and we are viewed as people who just do what we do. But in reality those ‘awe-inspiring and wow’ moments of life make a nurse’s day worthwhile no matter how small and simple it may seem.

My fellow nurses, we may have a lot of things to be weary of, but nonetheless we have tons of great things to be thankful for as well.

Yes, you can imagine life without those things that drive you crazy at work disappearing like a bubble bursting into the air; but it will always be there for it comes along the many wonderful experiences this job has to offer. One simply cannot exist without the other.

Nurses are but resilient fighters. We work to adapt, adjust and find balance everyday. Working as a nurse, we may have some experiences that made us who we are and how we are today. We have those tough in the outside yet soft-hearted nurses. We also have those apathetic ones yet compassionate in the inside. We have survived this path so don’t let the silly things upset you. You are not alone in this journey. Think of the thousands of nurses around the globe who are running along the corridors right now to respond to a code or maybe just answering call bells. Think about them who probably haven’t eaten their lunch yet because still busy with due medications and emergency procedures. Think about them who silently cries when someone belittles their hard work. Think about them who fights for their patient’s rights but unappreciated and judged. Think about them who miss their family but still showing up for their patients. Think about them who feel ill but have to get up and take care of the sick. Think about them who fail, and get up and continued–they are nurses just like you and me. They refused to be defined by the hardships of what they do. They inspire me to see, look back and appreciate the simple pleasures of this job. We may have different views and opinions in life but we share the same pledge with Ms. Nightingale.

Nurses let’s roll. Move away from melancholy of our everyday routine. Remember why you started. Find the strength to continue and show up. Remind yourself of the never-ending tales of seeing extraordinary things in an ordinary day of someone’s else life. With the years passing by, we have accumulated an endless stories of life’s lesson, inspiring tragedies and even funny moments to remember. And as for every nurse out there, there is a success story that will always linger in their minds. Pull out those stories from your treasure chest and re-live the moments. Reminisce how those moments made you cry, smile and steered up your faith in nursing. And also always remember the team that you work with. No one survives alone in this line of work. Whether it is an intense life and death situation down to finding humor and laughing out loud with colleagues–we all needed each other’s back.

I am a nurse and I learn from my patients too. 🙂

How our simple actions have actually helped them beyond unfathomable measures; how you as a nurse became a part of their battles, to remind you that we don’t just do what we do. We do it for a purpose. It may be small, but in the end seeing a difference in someone’s life pays it all. Truly, the grandest of epiphanies are but stitched collections of the smallest and simplest things in life. I AM A PROUD NURSE. Plead guilty.



a souvenir from my previous hospital. 


***Written Feb. 14, 2016 and was published in our nursing magazine 3rd issue (May 2016). I just wanted to post it on my blog because this is by far my favorite piece of writing related to my nursing profession. It was during those times that I was struggling to write something inspirational to cheer me up during my toxic days at work.

And obviously, I also wanted to bring it infront of more eyes and maybe, these comfort words can bring a smile and encouragement to a fellow nurse out there! Who knows…

Thank you for reading. 🙂


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