Well, it seems I've been rather busy lately with life and haven't managed to get anywhere with the artistic aspect of my creative life. I was in a writing mood though and so I popped this one out. Some thoughts from my final practicum for my nursing degree last year...
John Lennon once quoted, “There’s no where you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be” and I tend to agree. My final nursing practicum last year solidified this quote for me.
I never thought of working in public health nor had any desire to do so. I went into nursing as a career for a number of reasons, but mainly because I wanted people to feel loved and make a difference in their lives. What better time to do this than when one is sick and generally feeling rather low? That being said, the circumstances of my life changed and I needed a final placement with good, consistent hours, that wouldn’t leave me completely exhausted at the end of a shift due to having my four-month-old baby girl at home.
Public health fitted my needs perfectly in this way and yet I still did not look forward to going. This wasn’t the type of nursing I wanted to do! I wanted to “fix” everyone, not give needles to little babies (the immunization discussion will occur another day). I must admit though, after six weeks of working in public health I found that I completely and totally loved it.
One of my biggest beliefs of health care is that of the importance of health promotion. When someone is being looked after in acute care, they are recovering from a crisis and this often can make them open to education of preventing further episodes of ill health. But more often than not, I find that once they are “fixed” they continue on with their habitual life choices. This depresses me. Our society has become rather too dependent on our health care system, making many of us lazy and irresponsible for our own health.
In public health, teaching is done before the event of a crisis. People are generally well and they are open to the support of the nurses as well as the information that is being shared. Perhaps this is because the information is never forced upon them. Perhaps it’s because it is being taught in a relaxed atmosphere. Perhaps it’s that there are many others in the same situations, interested in the same things, all coming together. I’m not clear on the answer to this but what I am clear about is that this is what provided me with an “Aha!” moment (a term provided by one of my favourite former instructors).
I find that there is a much greater avenue for change through public health than there will ever be in acute care. Public health is SO much more than immunizations. The realm of opportunity for spreading information about health and wellness is so vast and varied that I wouldn’t even know where to start.
The main point is, I want to make a difference in people’s lives and I see that I have a greater chance of doing so on a bigger scale through teaching in public health. This is where I want to be at some point in the future and I am so thankful that I had a placement in this area. Without it, I would never have known where I was really meant to be… one day.
Thanks for reading!!