Lateesha Leal submitted 2017-08-14

As a nursing student who will be practicing in less than a year from now, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid of being the one person who stands between a person living or dying. Emergency medical care is probably my biggest fear yet it is one of my specialty choices. I have come to realize these classes that I am taking, the tests I am studying for, it isn’t just for a good grade, this is knowledge that can and will save lives. As a student, I fear that when the time comes I will freeze and forget everything I have learned. So, my goal this last year of Nursing school is to conquer my fear and learn how to handle emergency situations.

I have worked in the health care field as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant for seven years. In those seven years, I never encountered an emergency situation. The past six months I have been working as a phlebotomist in a hospital setting. I recently ran into a situation that was an actual emergency. My patient was not breathing on her own after surgery and I was called to draw blood for important testing to figure out what went wrong. In this room there were 4 nurses, an anesthesiologist, a respiratory therapist, and my patients spouse. This particular patient was not an easy stick and I couldn’t find a viable vein anywhere. I was able to locate a vein in my patient’s finger that allowed me to get the blood I needed. This was a nerve racking situation having such a huge audience and it was up to me to get my job done so that further testing could be done. Everyone was waiting to proceed until test results were back and would determine the course of action. This was my first run in with an emergency situation and I was pleasantly surprised that I handled it as well as I did.

After I took the blood back to the laboratory I realized that I was sweating and my hands were shaking. I needed to take a break for a minute and let all of the adrenaline escape my body. I felt embarrassed that this was happening to me. At the same time, I was proud of myself. This was when I realized that as a nurse I am going to see a lot more of these situations and I will be expected to act quickly. This was also when I realized that I was meant to be in the healthcare field because when the time came to do my part in saving this woman’s life I put my fears aside and I was focused on nothing but my patient. Although I frequently question my career choice when I am up at 5 a.m. finishing homework, I have this memory to look back on and I realize that I am right where I need to be.

In order to prepare for these emergency situations in my future career I have a lot of work to do in order to prepare myself. I need to become familiar with life-threatening signs and symptoms, I need to know life-saving medications backwards and forwards, and I need to know that no matter what I do I can’t save them all. It is normal to have feelings when the emergency situation doesn’t go the way I’d hoped and its ok to cry. In order to prepare myself physically I believe hands on training is my best approach. I love getting hands on opportunities to learn and practice. I feel like it is the best way to prepare for any situation especially in the healthcare field. Clinical opportunities have proven to help me the most, being able to observe different people in the nursing role handling situations differently.

Even with my long list of fears I am counting down the days until I have reached my ultimate goal of graduating Nursing school and becoming the first one to make it this far in my family. I have had trial after trial and it has taken me twice as long to get here but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am excited to start my career as a Nurse. I need this scholarship to help me reach the of the tunnel and I would like to thank those who took the time to read my essay. Thank you for the consideration