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Friday, January 27, 2012

Nursing Questions: To Be Or Not To Be...

I have to take a moment and share a personal experience about a career choice and what I believe to be a major shortcoming in the healthcare industry.

My intent is not to offend anyone, simply to share and maybe encourage awareness on this subject.

Several years ago before I became a writer, but after I had been in Marketing for some time, I stumbled onto to the idea of becoming a nurse.

I suppose I had grown weary of the sales rep’s rat race and I had always felt that the nursing profession was an extremely honorable one.

Over the years I became known in my family as “the nurse” simply because of my extreme interest in health related topics and for the constant and continual medical research that I was always involved in. Every time someone in the family was sick with something, they would call me and I would gladly share whatever I had learned on the subject.

My family was always telling me, “You should be a real nurse.” So one day I went down to the vocational technical school in my hometown and registered for the nursing program. I was scheduled to take the entrance exam and I found a nursing textbook at Goodwill and began studying it.

As I continued to study over the nursing textbook that I had found, I began to notice similar patterns in treatment policy that was disturbing to me. It seemed to me that with each chapter discussion on whatever illness that chapter was about, the treatment plan was always the same.

The chapter would describe in detail the symptoms that the patient could be having. It would describe which tests would be administered to rule out other possible conditions in order to confirm that particular illness. Then the book would begin to talk about which medications would generally be prescribed to treat that illness.

And if the patient did not respond to medications, the book would discuss which surgical procedures would be an option for that patient. Page after page, chapter after chapter of medications and surgeries was all the medical profession had to offer.

So, from traditional medicine’s point of view, the solution was to medicate it or remove it. Something seemed very wrong with this picture. I began to feel like I didn’t want to be a part of this. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe that nursing is an extremely honorable profession.

There is not enough money in the world to compensate nurses for what they do. But, I began to feel like I didn’t want to be a part of an industry where the only solution to healthcare was to medicate or remove an organ. I believe strongly in preventive medicine and even natural therapies as long as it is sound and not fanatical.

I began thinking about crisis intervention as a possible career choice. I thought that maybe I could be an EMT or a Paramedic. This wouldn’t violate my preventive medicine principles because obviously if a bone is sticking out of the body, then a person genuinely needs medications and surgery.

I started imagining myself riding around in an ambulance all day helping people and saving lives. I imagined how wonderful it would be to be completely trained and prepared for every type of tragedy, accident or disaster. But then again, I wasn’t as young as I used to be.

Would my nervous system be able to handle tragedy after tragedy, accident after accident, day in and day out? Well, I never had to find out. I got busy with life and other projects and eventually I became a writer. I am glad that I made the choice I did because I can still help people through my research and writing.

But I will always wonder if I would have made a good nurse. I do wish though that the medical profession would take on the view of healing the body and saving the organs rather than removing them. There are too many documented cases where this has been accomplished by natural means even when doctors have given a very negative prognosis.

I greatly appreciate all that the medical society has done for mankind and is still doing, but is it too much to ask to be able to keep our organs?

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