Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Why did you become a nurse and not a doctor?"

Annie & Isabel is off to a great start! We have been sending gowns all over the country! As many of you know, even to Barbara Walters for her upcoming valve replacement surgery later this week. We hope her publicist can deliver it to Barbara, as we all know she would love it!

It makes us so happy hearing about all the people who are enjoying their Annie & Isabel gowns. Babies are being born in style, as they should be on that wonderful day! We have sent several Elizabeth gowns, our breast cancer gown, to people newly diagnosed with breast cancer. We hope that it will make radiation treatments and hospital stays a little better.

My sister and partner Anna is finishing up her 15th wedding anniversary trip on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, soooooo jealous!!! I thought I would do a quick blog post in honor of National Nurses Week! A profession we both LOVE!

I recently sat on a panel of my good friend Brenda's daughter, who wants to become a nurse. She is in high school and had to do a presentation on what career path she wanted to take. She was so cute and talked about nursing with such excitement. I think she will be an amazing addition to my wonderful profession. She has the passion for it, and it truly is a calling. At the end of her presentation, her teacher said, "Why do you want to become a nurse, and not a doctor?" I laughed to myself, because anyone who would ask this question has never been in the hospital.

I've been asked that a million times and if you ask any doctor or nurse... they are two very different jobs. I have the utmost respect for physicians and all that they do for their patients. They commit their lives to serving people day in and day out. I really respect this and love working with all the wonderful physicians at UCSF. But, that being said, nursing is where it is at! It takes a special person to want to become a nurse. It is not for everyone, we see everything... and I mean everything! Let's just say, there are days at work that I don't want to tell my husband about....and I need an immediate shower. But to me, I don't care about that..

I've been a nurse now for over a decade... wow! I think back to nursing school at USF... My best friend Sara and I so timid and scared... *knock...knock* "Mr. Smith... Can we come in?" as our hands shook and we second guessed every move we made! Taking a blood pressure was a BIG deal!!! We laugh about it now, but our fellow nurses took us under their wings and made us into strong, confident, knowledgeable nurses. Most of my friends and even some of my family members don't know what I do at work. I didn't even know what nurses REALLY did when I went to nursing school. Nurses have serious power. They are the eyes and ears to doctor's critical decisions. They can be your best advocated if you are lying in that hospital bed (hopefully stylin' in you A&I gown). I could go on and on, but I just want to say some reasons why I love being a nurse in honor of National Nurses Week.

  1. I learn something new every day.
  2. Every day is different.
  3. I work 12 hours and I go home. Home to my amazing family and leave my job to another nurse to carry on.
  4. I leave my work at work.
  5. Sometimes I can't leave my work at work.... just ask my Husband, Mom, and Sister (thanks for all the vent sessions!)
  6. I love my job and I also feel like a stay at home mom (or SAHM- whatever those girls call it!!!)
  7. I work 2 days a week and have 5 to play with my boys and have fun with Annie & Isabel.
  8. I love difficult patients... really angry ones are the best. I have 12 hours to win them over...(almost) have never lost at that game!
  9. When I started in the ICU, I had major issues with death.
  10. Now, I feel honored if I can help someone die comfortably and sometimes be the last person to hold his or her hand and tell them it's going to be ok.
  11. I am an adrenaline junkie (aren't we all???) and get a rush when someone is crashing.
  12. Nurses amaze me. When I am working on the crashing patient... there are a dozen helping hands next to me in one second... Really.
  13. Humans are resilient beings and can come back from A LOT. I have had my doubts and people continue to surprise me.
  14. Cultures fascinate me. Like I said, learn something new every day.
  15. I love the elderly. They are the best history lesson there is.
  16. I will never lose sight that there is a person under all of the machines, critical drips, and wires. If I do, I will retire.
  17. As nurses, we are not here to judge, just help people recover. Something that all nurses should tell themselves before every shift. We see a lot and this can be challenging.
  18. If I ever get tired of the intensive care unit, I want to go to labor & delivery with the babies. Not sure if I can handle the moms!
  19. After a 12 hour shift at work, my problems always seem a lot less significant.
  20. If I won the lottery, I would still work.


  1. Selena,

    What a beautiful post. Really. Brought a mist to my eyes. I feel as though I understand a bit more about what you do. You are amazing. I would be blessed to have you as my nurse.

    And I'm so excited about Barbara Walters!

    Love to you,


  2. Selena,I can tell your heart is in it and because of that are the best nurse one could have! Thanks for sharing..... Lisa

  3. Selena,
    Finally got around to reading this. Thinking of USF made me cry. We were so SCARED!!!!!! Good thing we had each other or we NEVER would have made it. I am glad I went back to work and you're absolutely right about everything you said...and by the way, you could TOTALLY handle the moms, you win everyone over the second you walk in the room and smile. I love you.

  4. Ahhh Sara... don't get me misty eyed! I miss those days when we were new-grads in our first positions at UCSF! I wish you were still here with me... but, now I get to come visit you in the land of paradise:)