Imagine, a strange lady coming up to you, offering to buy you coffee in exchange for a 10-minute chat. Well, after a few no’s, S finally said yes.
S is my first coffee date. We are at the Blenz Coffee in the VCC lobby. And she was a trooper. Her story is one that I found inspiring. One of never giving up on your dreams, no matter the circumstances and obstacles. And that is what is is most proud of.
Her dream – since grade 10 – was to become a nurse. But as she explained, school wasn’t always easy for S. And even just getting her LPN (licensed practical nurse) designation was quite an accomplishment.
For 13 years, she’s been diligently helping people as a LPN. But that was wasn't enough to satisfy S. She still had aspirations to be a full-fledged RN (registered nurse) and work in the labour and deliver department, helping those teeny tiny little humans come home to their families. But with a six-year-old son at home, two casual jobs in two different hospitals at either end of the city, and taking pre-requisite courses to be accepted in the nursing program at VCC, let's just say she's got her hands full.
S is motivated, dedicated, passionate and a little stressed.
Her support system at home is what is really making this possible. Her partner is her rock; not only in a financial sense, but he is her cheerleader and her biggest fan. He knows she can do this and has given her the confidence she needs to make it a reality. By mid-December, S will have completed her pre-requisites for the RN program and will be put on the waitlist to get into VCC’s 18-month program. I have known S for the whole of 10, maybe 15 minutes, but I’m so excited for her and I know her dreams will soon become a reality.
To S, the rewarding part about nursing is helping patients and their families. She currently works in the palliative department and that kind of work takes its toll on a person. But for S, it’s not about how hard it is on her, it’s about making sure the patients and families are well taken care of. She quotes Maya Angelou:
“People will forget what you said, people will
forget what you did, but people will never forget
how you made them feel.”
I spent about two weeks in the hospital almost five years ago. And although the doctors did save my life, the nurses were the ones who truly took care of me. They were the ones who made my experience a positive one, and they were the ones who talked me off the ledge when I needed it most (not literally… that would have been a physical impossibility at the time).
Meeting S and seeing how important it is to her to become a nurse, to be providing such care and compassion when people are at their most vulnerable, is truly inspiring.
So to S I say thank you for being my first interview, my guinea pig, and letting me get to know you. You are an inspiration to me and many others. I wish you the best of luck with your finals and know you will be an amazing RN!