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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Doctor/Nurse (11/02/06)

TITLE: Who's Next?
By Sally Hanan


“I think I’m going to be a nurse,” I declared, after months of trying to figure out exactly what I could do that would not involve college and would hand over a paycheck from the get-go.

I was lucky in that I had grown up in a country that endorsed the idea of a practical training with only 8 weeks in the classroom per year. The rest of the time I would be tenderly holding sippy cups to old darlings who would pat me on the head and tell me I was wonderful.

Little did I know…

My rude awakening into the school of nursing was to be told that I could not wear pants in the classroom. Poverty-stricken to start with, I had to run downtown with some of the other girls and borrow five quid* to get myself a piece of stretchy cotton that went past my knees.

My next horror was the sight of an F on my first weekly test. Things only went downhill from there.

Thing is, I may have wanted to be a nurse, but I wasn’t very good at it; in fact, I was a hopeless case. If there was a statue in the hospital of a patron saint for bad nurses, I would have been put first on the list for the faithful candle burners.

For three years I fudged my way through cleaning sluices and washing body parts until I had my “staff nurse” belt. God must have had many angels watching over me during that period, because the only time someone died when I was in charge was when I went on a dinner break; and I was able to skip the mouth to mouth resuscitation of the man who had spent the previous half hour eating liquorices and never swallowed.

I will not mention the number of half-naked women and men forgotten about in the middle of their bed bath, or left sitting on the loo** for so long that they almost developed a large pressure sore ring around their buttocks. Neither will I mention giving out the wrong tablets*** (fortunately they were only vitamins) or having someone collapse after my administration of an enema.

But, surprisingly (or not), God knew what he was doing.

Inside me there was a healing gift, and over the years of working among the sick I developed the knack of knowing the right thing to say to them. I was able to warn visitors of a relative’s bad turn before they walked through the door. I could prepare a man emotionally for surgery. I could cajole and chastise. I could pray.

Inside me was the healing gift of counseling.

You’ll be glad to know that I have not worked as a nurse for the last 14 years, but I could not be more fulfilled. Just this week I will have the blessing of helping a woman trust her future fiancé after years of being let down by other men. I will get to help a woman fight her way through her anger at God and understand that He is close and she will make it. I will have the privilege of helping a man be a man instead of remaining a child. I will encourage a college student to stay holy for another week and hope she makes it through. I will encourage and inspire tweens and teens to be wasted on Jesus, and I will teach them how to jump into action at the mere mention of a physical or emotional to pray for healing.

I’ve still managed to avoid college, but boy has God been good to me.

I am a nurse of the mind, spirit, and soul of people, and my medicine is the Holy Spirit and the Word.

Who’s next?

*quid = 1 pound ~ 1 dollar
**loo = toilet
***tablets = pills

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This article has been read 1091 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Pat Guy 11/13/06
I don't know why this hasn't recieved many comments - it's excellent!

Great POV of the topic and poignant - an intertaining and inspiring read!

Jan Ackerson 11/13/06
Very good! I'm impressed if this is non-fiction, because you have a very readable and enjoyable voice. I'm very impressed if this is fiction, because it sounds absolutely authentic. Either way, good job!
Joanne Sher 11/14/06
Excellent - a very readable and thought-provoking piece. Wow!
Venice Kichura11/15/06
I loved this! It grabbed my attention all the way through---written like a true master!
Betty Castleberry11/15/06
This is very good! I can certainly relate to all the nursing mishaps you mentioned. This is my favorite line:

If there was a statue in the hospital of a patron saint for bad nurses, I would have been put first on the list for the faithful candle burners. :0)

Thanks for a delightful read.
Donna Powers 11/15/06
Excellent! Nurses often heal from the inside out, and it seems to me that you are a nurse of a different sort. Thanks so much for sharing this touching and lovely story.
Val Clark11/16/06
I certainly identify with this entry. It's amazing how God leads some people to certain occupations and we have no idea for years as to why. Love the humour and compassion that shines through this. yeggy
Trina Courtenay11/16/06
I enjoyed your honesty (if this is real). I enjoyed the humor as well. This is a great read from begining to end plus it put a smile on my face this morning!