Moving to a new state knowing nobody to start a grueling Nursing program, I was anxiety ridden to say the least.
While I consider myself an introvert, I thrive on the relationships I build. Between the twelve-hour clinicals, classes multiple times a week, and what seemed like no break between exams, I knew I was in for one of the hardest things I had ever done.
I had high hopes of finding at least one person to commiserate with for the next two years. What I didn’t know was that I would find a group of people who would soon become not just friends, but family.
There are multiple memes out there about the relationships formed while going through the trenches of nursing school.
One such meme states “Nursing friendships are a different kind of friendship, the ‘You hold the butt cheeks while I wipe’ kind”.
This statement is so very true as I have been in that situation more times than I’d like to count, and while it is no glamorous task, if I needed help a fellow classmate was never far behind.
No pun intended. Never did I imagine the bonds created when allowing oneself to be open to assistance.
I tend to be an independent and self-sufficient person; I like completing things on my own and rarely asking for a hand. Nursing school helped open my eyes to the concept of teamwork and friendship, as a nurse you must ask for help when overwhelmed, and never turn away from a fellow nurse whom you could aide.
There were countless nights staying up late studying where a quick message of panic to a fellow classmate was received with a positive reassurance and gave me the encouragement to keep going. Numerous times my fellow classmates and myself questioned sticking with it; Why were we here? Will we even make a difference?
One “family” dinner and we all knew we were there to not just change the lives of patients, but also change the lives of each other.
There are a couple of instances that stand out in my mind.
One happened to be our last semester of nursing school. A code blue was called and as circumstance would have it, was my classmate’s patient.
Three of my schoolmates were in the CPR and Ambu bag rotation; the code went on for twenty minutes before efforts were stopped and the patient was pronounced deceased. While I myself was not one performing the motions of the code, I felt the emotions my colleagues were feeling.
Hugs were offered and we all sat and cried together, this being our first code. It was wonderful to feel the support all around me, knowing that when this incident repeated itself, I would not be alone in my grief.
As nurses, we see joy and we see sadness on a daily basis, it is very important to find colleagues to help guide you through the process of dealing with your emotions in order to move on and be the best healer you can be.
Another example of the bond we had formed came this past summer as a few of us graduated ahead of the others.
There was to be no graduation ceremony until December and many living out of state would possibly not make it back.
A surprise graduation was thrown for those leaving complete with cap, gown, and “diplomas”.
Stories, laughter, and copious amounts of tears were shared as we said our goodbyes and relived all the rollercoaster moments we had over the span of our degrees.
To once feel so very alone in a new environment and two years later leave knowing you have women you call sisters, is a beautiful phenomenon.
I can not imagine another group of people standing by my side while going through the hurdles we all faced from beginning to end of obtaining our nursing degrees.
These are the women I want taking care of my loved ones.
While I learned the ins and outs of body systems, therapeutic communication, milestones of childhood, etc. in the classroom, one of the biggest lessons I learned outside of the classroom was the ability to be receptive to a strong human connection.
Wherever our careers take us, our bond will never break and I will look back at these experiences and know they have made me into the strong confident nurse I am today.
Written by Melissa Allensworth
2016-28104 Exp. 10/17