Wednesday, November 14, 2007
It's funny, before coming to Africa I had only taken care of pediatric patients. I went into nursing because I wanted to work with children. I knew the entire time I was in nursing school that I wanted to take care of children. Adults were never even an option.
But being on a hospital ship has forced me to be flexible and to succumb things I never would of stood for at home. Like working 50 to 60 hour work weeks. Or working 11 out of 12 days in a row. Or coming in on my only days off to take care of sicker patients that my experiences in the PICU qualified me to take care of. Or working 6 months strait without any sort of break. Or taking care of adults.
I don't think people always understand how challenging and tiring it can be to work in a constantly changing hospital environment when you are often working far outside of you comfort zone. I think us nurses deserve a break :)
Last week, I took care of only adult patients. By the end of the week I became a little cranky.
Yesterday, as I snuggled with beautiful little 10 month old Patience, I realized the source of my discomfort, I missed being around children. It was almost a subconscious realization.
Patience is a beautiful, snugly little girl. I spent most of my shift stealing her from the arms of her mother. She has a complete right side cleft lip and would spend her life being shunned and made fun of if she did not come to Mercy Ships.
It's extra amazing to hold and love these children because the world has out casted them. I watched Patience mother nervously watch as myself and other nurses loved her little girl.
Today Patience received her corrective surgery. It's a beautiful transformation to be a part of.