Going for her noble profession — Part I

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Cynthia is unsatisfied being a nurse; she wishes to quit  her job and to do something she enjoys, but she’s scared of the possible outcome on her relationship with her boyfriend, Frank, the love of her life who always wanted a nurse for a wife.


 

The terrified mother watched with eager attention but somewhat soothed anxiety as the nurse, with the same dexterity that had broken the vial and sucked up the liquid drug into the syringe, carefully took off the luer lock plug and slowly pushed the drug into the child’s body, the lad being held down by his father.

In the twinkle of an eye, the status epilepticus attack was over as the boy sank into calm sleep.

After staying long enough to make sure he was completely calm, Cynthia took her tray and was heading back to the nurses’ station, when the relieved mother grabbed her arm and thanked her profusely for coming to her son’s aid.

“Ma’am,” Cynthia replied. “It’s my job. Rather thank God, he’s the one that spares lives.”
“Thank you, all the same,” the woman insisted. “You were careful. I have watched some other nurses and they are not as careful as you are.”

Cynthia returned to the nurses’ station, searched for the child’s file and documented what had happened and the intervention she had done.

The clock struck 2 a.m. She decided to go through the ward to see if every other child was calm. When nothing needed her attention, she returned to her seat.

Laughter came from the dressing room opposite the nurses’ station; Vera had been sitting there since 11 p.m., chatting with someone on the phone.

Cynthia refused to harbor resentment this time around – it was to no gainful use. She had objected to being paired with the negligent nurse – like many of her other colleagues – for the night shift, because instead of two nurses sharing the work, one usually took up most of the responsibility while the other spent the majority of the time locked up in the dressing room.

Her colleagues had complained and complained, but no one understood why the matron wouldn’t take drastic measures against Vera’s avoidance of duty, especially during the night shifts. During the day, when the supervisor’s eyes were on her, the lazy nurse was sure to be actively present on duty.

Cynthia sighed and leaned her head on the wall; it was time to give a little more attention to the pondering of her heart, thoughts which recently had become more and more audible.

She sighed for the second time, wishing that for once she could make a firm decision and follow it through. The mother who had just thanked her for saving her child’s life was one of those reasons the decision about her job was so hard to take.

How could she say she was not satisfied being a nurse when such commendation for her work and dedication abounded? For the four years of her working experience in the suburban health facility, the Nurse of the Year Award had alternated between her and one other male nurse, each receiving the award twice, and being a runner up twice.

What would she then say to her colleagues was the source of her wishing to make career path changes?

She sighed again. More disturbing than the opinion of her colleagues was that of her parents and…yes, Frank.

The day she had graduated from college, Daddy was the happiest man. He told one of his friends that he was very proud of his daughter because she had chosen as career a noble profession.

But Cynthia was aware that she had not really chosen, but had been rather counseled to choose that path, because it was a noble profession, and also much more importantly, because gainful employment after school was as sure as death after life on earth.

Being a Christian, she was meticulous in the discharge of her job description, reason why commendation was common place. But the commendations – and comfortable paycheck too – notwithstanding, she couldn’t fail to notice that all things being equal, her heart would love a change and her attention would be given to something else. Not even the prospect of more comfortable paychecks from beckoning opportunities in bigger facilities in the nearby city could satisfy the longings of her heart.

But her dream profession was very distant from her present field, so lacking in similarities, that sometimes she winced and felt ashamed at the thought that she could think of abandoning a noble profession for such a career.

She had tried to love Nursing, justifying to her heart that it was a noble profession; it also accorded her the opportunity to share the gospel – and she had seen a few people come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

How does one leave such a profession for one not so noble? She wondered. What would people think of me? Unspiritual? Crazy?

And what would Frank think? No, what would he do about their relationship should she muster enough courage to withstand her colleagues’ and parents’ criticisms and objections. At twenty three she was on her own – her parents may object, but as long as her sustenance didn’t come from them, their objection was not a very major obstacle.

Frank had told her he always desired his wife to work in the hospital milieu, whether as a medical doctor, a nurse or paramedic. He had confessed that each time he saw her in white, it was a wonderful pleasure – she looked more beautiful…and his love for her shot through the roof.

Cynthia had once asked him if that was the only reason why he was interested in her. His reply was in the negative, but she believed he gave the impression that her being a nurse scored greatly in his decision to date her.

Recently, he had begun making statements that said he would soon give her the engagement ring and the wedding would be around the corner. Cynthia was excited, but afraid. Excited because she loved him dearly, and afraid for a future where she might not be able to make a change because then she would have a husband’s opinion and decision to submit to.

She wished he could be of the type that wants stay-at-home wives; then she would happily quit her job and do nothing officially classified as a profession. How that sounded so appealing: staying at home and doing nothing was better than being forever stuck in a job she hated.

Frank was not of that type; he not only wanted a working wife, but had a choice in the kind of profession he wanted his would-be wife in: a medic or other healthcare professional

No one would understand the terrible dilemma Cynthia faced. A cursory look at her problem, if truly admitted to be a problem, could result in a casual solution, ‘just do what what makes you happy, to hell with Frank!‘ or ‘You’re not getting any younger, get married and be‘. But Cynthia wished to make changes to her career with the same intensity of desire that wanted to see Frank become her husband.

“Dear Lord, please help me,” she prayed.

At past 3 a.m., another mother came to the nurses’ station to inform Cynthia that her child’s infusion bag was empty and needed replacement. The nurse immediately took a full bag from the cupboard and followed the woman.

After replacing the infusion, she came back to the station. Vera was still giggling and laughing in the dressing room. Cynthia decided she had had enough; she confronted her colleague.

“Gee!” Vera shouted, with a a loud shallowness. “Is this how the time had flown? I’m so sorry, Cindy, I didn’t just take note. Marian is a great talker, we…”

“Go take up your responsibilities and save me the explanation,” Cynthia said.
“What is there to be done?” Vera asked, plugging the charger of her phone into a socket on the wall

Cynthia sighed. “Prepare for the 4 a.m medications.”
“But, Cindy, is that something you can’t do? Just how many children have medications for 4 a.m.?”

Vera then noticed Cynthia’s displeasure, and pleaded, “Please, let me just finish off this important message I was sending. Please. Just a sec.”

“I hope,” Cynthia said, “you won’t find fault with me when again I inform the Matron tomorrow about your conduct during working hours. For God’s sake, you’ve been on your phone for more than fours hours! A child could have died, and you wouldn’t know.”

Vera sighed and went out to the nurses’ station, followed by Cynthia.
“Vera, when you don’t do your job, you place a burden on others. It shouldn’t get you annoyed when they complain. Besides, you are being paid for the job.”

“Meager pay. Peanut money. If you call that  pay, I’d soon call the Matron an excellent administrator. My dear, that salary hardly goes for ten days after pay day.”

“But you accepted it, right? If you are unhappy with the remuneration here, go find a better place, and stop receiving payment for work not done. The city isn’t far.”
“It’s enough! What the…!”

The last exclamation with an expletive was not directed at Cynthia, but at the scene on Vera’s hand: one of her long fake fingernails had just torn the glove she was trying to put on.

Cynthia felt the urge irresistible: “If you kept your nails at the recommended length for nurses, you wouldn’t have had that happen.”
“To hell with all that nonsense. Think I should lose my taste of beauty just because I took some oath?”

“Vera, you can do your nails during vacation,” Cynthia refused to stay quiet. “You know the profession and the administration here frowns terribly at artificial and polished nails.”
“They can’t stop me from living my life,” Vera said, going for another glove.

Cynthia sighed and returned to her seat, from where she watched her colleague preparing the medication tray while muttering and getting angry with the tray and the medications.

It then struck Cynthia; the dissatisfied nurse realized she may one day reach a stage where she felt her job was taking away her true life from her; and then she might, like Vera, resent the rules and regulations of a profession and yet remain in it for the sake of a guaranteed paycheck at the end of the month.

She wanted change; she needed change. But what about Frank? What if he objected?

Janet Bengan
Fiction for Teaching, Inspiration and Entertainment

Story continues Going for her noble profession — part II

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