Since I can remember I always loved and was fascinated by the medical profession. My mom always found it strange that I loved being at the hospital so much. Oddly enough I always felt at home when I was there. I could never explain why I loved being there so much, but it was more of a feeling I had. A sense of belonging. And belonging to something that was so glamorous in my eyes. (Although it truly does not fall under the standards of “glamorous”).
I was exposed to this environment from a young age. Mostly because of my grandma, a few times with my mother and perhaps once for myself. Every time, without fail, I did not mind being there. I stared at all the healthcare workers in awe. The scrubs, the white coats, the stethoscopes hanging around their necks, the ostentatious terminology (as if they were speaking a completely different language).
Besides the actual influence of having been in the environment, I knew that I would find my life to be more satisfying by giving back to a world that had/has given me so much. “The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.” That quote by Gandhi, I feel, could not apply itself better than to the meaning and sole purpose of my life. Being a healthcare professional, to me, was a calling. It not only has felt satisfying, it also brings gratification to my soul. With everyone I meet and anyone that knows me knows that I feel beyond lucky and blessed that a passion and a career could merge as one.
Along the way of becoming a nurse I have to give credit to those who mentored me and served as an exceptional foundation and reassurance that I was where I needed to be. I have the nurses I met along the way throughout school to thank for that. Over 27 months I did clinical learning at several facilities and almost always seemed to be inspired and motivated to achieve bigger and greater things by the nurses I was with. Those were, and are still, the nurses I aspire to be one day. They encouraged me and showed me the real meaning of what a nurse should be like. If all that time I spent in hospitals and time I practiced as a student taught me ANYTHING is that this profession is definitely not for everyone. If someone is doing this for any reason other than caring for others, let me tell you from personal experience, they are here for all the wrong reasons (just like the Bachelor). With that being said, I want to give a little special shoutout to the nurses that inspired me since the beginning (hopefully they read this and know exactly who they are). To Lauren and Zahily, to Paola, my SNP preceptor Jenny, and last but definitely not least, Sofia. I hope and dream to take a little piece of all of you into my practice and could not be more grateful for what you taught me and for being the role model nurses you are. I aspire to make you girls proud one day and can only wish that I become half the nurse you all are.
But wait, where would I be today if it weren’t for the main reason of how I was introduced to this world in the first place? Some may say I might have found my way here eventually. Perhaps that is true, although I highly doubt it. And for that I am well aware that I would not be here if it weren’t for my one, true inspiration. The person I am most thankful for in my life. My first and favorite patient. A great influence as to how, why and who I am today. The reason I became a nurse. She is someone I strive to make proud day in and day out. She is always at the forefront and I would not be the young woman I am today without her. And that person would be: My grandma, mi Abuelita.
Growing up, I learned quickly about all the different medical history she had. I had to, but I know a part of me did so because I wanted to. I wanted to ensure we could help her any way we could. Language barriers at times pose difficulties, not just for my grandma but at times even for my own mom. I educated myself on her diagnoses, her medications, her treatments. I did so because as my mother would say I was the “brain” and her memory, however I did it because it was just an instinct to care & even more so for my own. I know it could not have been easy for my mother to hear what my grandma, her mom, was developing. Some times you get so nervous either you forget or you just cannot get a grasp on the situation. So there I was, behind the scenes. Listening, writing things down, researching. I wanted to help any way I could, especially to someone who never hesitated to be there when I needed her. I would not gain anything from this, except putting my mother at ease and interpreting/explaining everything to them both. I did this unconditionally. I did this because that is what my abuelita taught me, a trait that was well within me. She always told me, “Monique, es mejor dar que recibir. Dios siempre te va a dar lo que necesitas.” To translate she advised me always that it was always better to give to others because when you are going to need it (it being anything, nothing in particular) God will always make sure you receive His blessing.
That always stuck with me. To this day it still has. My grandmother was my own personal angel. Heaven sent from above. It never seemed to fail, she always looked out for me and gave me more than I ever deserved. And without expecting anything, except perhaps my love, in return.
By becoming a nurse, I felt and still feel as though I am honoring her. I attempt to see my abuelita in every patient I come across and care for. At times, patients can make that difficult, but regardless I tend to look at the bigger picture and empathize with them. I believe that it never hurts to be kind and that my kindness is not to be mistaken for weakness for it takes great strength and resilience to remain kind to those that do not deserve it. My grandma is still very much present in my life and I could not thank God any more so for her, her wisdom and unconditional love. I not only carry her in my thoughts, but if you ever see me around the hospital, just know I keep her close to my heart by the stethoscope on me. My first nursing school gift. One I hope to carry with me throughout my career, wherever it takes me. Just as a reminder of why I started in the first place.
So that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed this little excerpt of my life! Here’s to my first post of many. Feel free to leave comments or ask any questions! Make sure to subscribe to keep up with me. Thank you for reading. Stay safe, wear your mask, social distance and remember to wash your hands!