There has been a lot of talk lately about the nursing profession. We here at Aero Jet Medical know a little something about nursing…our President and CEO, Danielle Wilson, at only 24 years old was the youngest flight nurse in the country at the time she entered this newly evolving specialty area of nursing. She was truly a pioneer in this demanding field. A charter board member of the Texas Chapter of the National Flight Nurse Association, she founded the Central Texas Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT), which along with FEMA, responded to the 1996 Olympic Games bombing in Atlanta. And these are just a few of the accolades that AJM’s President and CEO could boast.
But, Mrs. Wilson doesn’t boast…because that isn’t why she chose to go into nursing in the first place. She now leads an executive team with over a century of combined experience, but the calling to care for patients is what led her to the nursing profession.
So, why do nurses choose a profession that can, at times, seem so difficult and occasionally thankless? The rewards are many when you really look at them.
Why Choose The Nursing Profession?
The hours can be long, your feet are going to hurt, and you will have difficult patients. If anyone tells you otherwise…they are lying to you. Nursing is a calling. You will have messy days (yes…very messy) and you will have days when you want to quit (but what job doesn’t?) You will have days when you want to find a supply closet, simply sit down and cry.
And then there are the other days…
There are the days when you will be the one who listens carefully with your stethoscope and notices a change in breath sounds and alerts the physician so that life-saving treatments can be taken.
There are the days when you will assist the respiratory therapist to help a premature baby (no bigger than your hand) breathe again – for the second time that day – while his lungs mature in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. And, later, there will be another day when you will place that same baby in his mother’s arms to go home breathing without support.
There are the days when you get to know what your elderly male patients most enjoyed when they “courted” their wives. What was their favorite song? And, if you’re lucky, they may even hum a few bars to you.
There are the days when a small toddler will, at first, pull away from you because she has no one to care for her and she is scared. Then, in time…after seeing that you want to help and you care, she will place her hand in yours and begin to trust. In that moment, it is not only her body that is healing.
There are the days when you will apply pressure to a wound for what seems to be hours. You think you will tire, but amazingly, you always seem to find the strength. And, your patient makes it through surgery successfully because of it.
There are the days when you notice a slight change in your patient (whether it be lab value changes, changes in breath sounds, pallor, or even just a slight change in their demeanor). Nurses know their patients best! There are days when you look at the values, look at your patient, and realize the prognosis may have changed (and therefore, treatment may need to change as well).
And, in our line of work, we have the special days of taking off in a foreign country with a patient who needs ventilator care, blood work drawn and analyzed, or cardiac care while we fly him or her on a jet powered fixed wing air ambulance back to his/her home. When we land, we have the privilege of having ensured his health and safety throughout the flight and returning him to his medical team where he can continue to heal.
Those are the days that nurses save and change lives! Yes, there are difficult days…but the true rewards far outweigh the difficult times.
There’s a Nursing Shortage In America
Unfortunately, we have a nursing shortage in the United States. According to The American Association of Colleges of Nursing the problem may not be that we have a shortage of applicants as much as we have a shortage of faculty to teach and teaching facilities. We are expected to experience a shortage of Registered Nurses as Baby Boomers age. These issues must be addressed quickly.
We hope you see why we love what we do. We love to get up and go to work every day because every day is a new beginning. It is a new challenge and a new chance to help someone heal and continue on their journey. We wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. So, when you get a chance, please thank a nurse for all that they do.