Hohman, Take A Bow For Yourself

Neighbors/ Glen Burnie

Winner Of A Nurse Aces Essay Competition

May 22, 1991

Janice R. Hohman of Glen Burnie was named Harbor Hospital Center's LPN of the Year and the winner of the Nurses Week essay.

Other county residents recognized by the hospital included Kathy Bahus, named Nurse of the Year, and Darlene Komorowski, named Nursing Tech of the Year.

Hohman's essay is "The Hardest Thing I've Done in My Career Was The Right Decision":

In nursing school, how may times did you ask yourself, "Am I doing the right thing?" "Do I really want to be an RN?"

One evening, I interrupted a nursing care plan to watch a performer sing on television. She was wonderful; the audience was spellbound. Her gown was beautiful, and she didn't have a hair out of place. Istared at her and thought, "If only I had talent like that, I could wear beautiful clothes and people would love me and applaud my performance. I could make my own choices, express myself, follow my heart, take chances, and even take a bow!"

Nurses don't take chances. They take orders -- stat orders, standard orders, written orders, verbalorders. Sometimes, it's necessary for us to put a lid on our emotions. We can't follow our hearts. We can't start an IV on a baby, or hold the hand of someone who is about to die. Our presence is recognizedby whether we are wearing pants or a dress uniform, socks or pantyhose, and whether our shoes are clean or dirty.

Remember when everyone kept telling you to "climb the educational ladder" and to make certain you have job security? There were dozens of reasons why you should accept the challenge of nursing school.

Inside, down deep in your heart, why did you accept this challenge? Why did you want to be an RN? What were your reasons? Why are you standing at the bedside ofa 2-year-old AIDS patient, consoling his family as he takes his lastbreath? Why are you so determined to get nourishment into a baby with "failure to thrive," or a geriatric patient who is so depressed shedoesn't care whether she eats or not. Why do you surround yourself with people of all ages that hurt, suffer and sometimes die?

Let meremind you of the real reason why you made the choice you did. It'sbecause of the special kind of person you are inside, in your heart.It isn't always the medications you give, the dressings you change, the notes you write. It may be the words you say,the way you touch someone, the hand you hold, your ability to communicate. To make someone smile, give comfort when there is pain, or just be there to listen.

The semiprivate room won't be your stage, and your patients aren't your audience. No one will applaud when you start the IV nobody else could start. You don't have the freedom to choose your next song; instead, you may be saying, "I have to irrigate your wound now, and itmay be painful." As the wound heals, and tissue granulates, no one expects you to take a bow. You can change the lyrics in a song, but you can't change a pain medication yourself because it isn't being effective.

Appreciate the beauty of what you do. Be proud, and realize that your reward may be a smile, a thank you, or a hug. I certainlyapplaud your performance everyday. Nurses, take a bow.

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