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Being a nurse – and loving it. By Jennifer Smith


“Nurses are central to health care. There are not too many areas in health care where we do not have a presence. We perform many tasks and duties with and for patients each and every day, no matter the time of day or night.

Nursing is vast with no 2 days ever being the same with many opportunities to work in a variety of areas and learn new skills and understand what is it to work in different areas of practice?

There is something more to nursing though that allows a deep love and appreciation for what we do but also for what we each bring as people.

Nursing is about people and relationships at its most fundamental and it’s through our relationships with people that we learn most about ourselves.

It doesn’t matter what area we practice in we are always in relationship and through this we have such a deep understanding of people, and “what makes people tick”.  But also allows us to ask more questions about the experience of life, health and illness.

We see the most incredible things in people, whether it be in our patients, those in caring roles, our colleagues.

We often don’t stop enough to appreciate and value what it is that we as nurses offer, because there is always much to do. But ask any patient or family member and they will feel comforted and supported by the presence of a nurse. Look into the eyes of someone in stress as you walk into a room and it confirms the value of what we bring before we do what it is that we need to do. We can be everything in that moment. We often let these moment pass by unnoticed, but they are there and there are many for us to observe, note and appreciate.

Nursing can be challenging and stressful and workplaces are far from perfect, which makes nurses and nursing pretty amazing. To choose to work in nursing is saying yes to people, saying yes to caring for our communities and saying yes to forever learning about people and relationships.”

Jennifer Smith has been a Registered Nurse for about 25 years having worked in large Sydney metropolitan hospitals and then small rural hospital on the NSW North Coast. She is currently working in community palliative care as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. Her passion along with palliative care is the health and well-being of nurses. She feels that the well-being of nurses needs to be amongst the forefront of conversations in healthcare. As a result she is volunteering her time working with a group of nurses and midwives to produce a website dedicated to this purpose.

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