Three Healthy, Calorie-Free Reasons to Select Me
Little did I know at the time, my first experience with nursing occurred when I learned to count calories in the sixth grade. It was a slightly misguided attempt to maximize my health. This small understanding of what it means to seek health started the bit of snow rolling that began to collect a bit more snow and a bit more, and it took rolling through much more experience and exploration to turn this tiny bit of snow into the more comprehensive understanding of health, nutrition and nursing that I have today – the large snowball. I’m not going to talk about calories now. The snowball has grown much larger than that, growing much as the field of nursing has grown: to encompass the entirety of health, healing and living a full life. I’m going to give a picture of my background through three important issues beyond the operating room but central to the field of nursing: cultural self-awareness, human presence (care), and critical thinking. These three issues serve as springboards for describing my own preparation for the study and work of becoming a nurse, as well as highlighting my educational goals and career plans. Nursing, being about the care of humankind, will expose me to an endless variation on cultural attitudes. One of my earlier exposures to cultural conflict happened at the age of 18, when I traveled to Morocco. The first thing that I will remember should I ever travel again to a Muslim country is not to dye my hair blond for the trip. I missed this bit of advice in the guidebook. During my stay in Morocco, I experienced first hand the influence of societal constructs of gender on the shaping of personal identity. The way I was treated was not only based on the expression of my gender but also strongly affected how I felt about myself. While I was lying on a beach, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, a group of elementary-aged boys took to throwing bits of cow dung in my direction. At other times, though I was clearly in a committed relationship with my male traveling companion, nearby men would stare at me for minutes at a time, looking me up and down from head to toe. During these situations, I felt exposed and vulnerable. At the time, I reacted by immediately leaving the country, but the experience stayed with me and has since been a significant influence on my study of women’s issues within my own and other cultures. I have consciously opened the dialogue on these issues with others and within myself, through class, writing, work and informal conversation. I took college classes in women’s studies and in women and communication. My research paper in graduate school writing theory was based on writer’s block as connected to gender. I became an advocate for a local domestic abuse hotline, and I marched for Take Back the Night. My strong concern for women’s rights carries over to this day in my decision to enter the nursing field both to be of practical support in women’s health as well as in honor and devotion to the feminine ethic of care. Additionally, my experience in Morocco and others like it have helped to give me awareness of my own core values and cultural bias, as well as sensitivity to the wide diversity of culture that exists from next door to across the world and will certainly show up in the world of nursing.
Nurses wear a variety of hats. A nurse may be a pain manager, a teacher, an advocate, direct care support, a counselor/case manager or a leader, for starters. The nurse provides a bridge: between the patient and the health care system, the patient and the doctor, the community and the health care facility. In essence, nurses must provide the human touch while remaining in integrity with the medical system they represent. My professional, academic and life experiences have prepared me to do this. I have extensive experience within the human services; my professional roles have ranged from educator in one-on-one and group...
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