Why I became a nurse

By Robin Bell

Robin is a pediatrics nurse at Boone Hospital Center.

I am quite convinced that God was charting my path to nursing from the time I was a toddler.

Robin Bell

My mom tells the story that when I was a little girl, I would line up my dolls and give them medicine and mark it off on a pretend notepad. Here I am 43 years later still doing that, but now marking them off on a computer.

When I was five, I got stung by two bees and had an entire body reaction that should have been treated in the emergency room. My parents were not ones to go running to the doctor, so my mom took me the next day when I was still covered in hives with my eyes swollen shut.

After a good chewing out by my pediatrician, my mom dutifully brought me once a week for my bee allergy shots for the next three years. I just so happened to love that office and I think I had a crush on the two cute pediatricians too.

When I was 12, I found a lump on my hip. After a series of many tests, x-rays and bone scans, I was sent to surgery for the removal of a benign tumor the size of a plumb! I absolutely loved being in the hospital environment, was in awe of the doctors and nurses and was a little sad when it was time to go home. That summer I had eye surgery and felt the same way.

After I started college with an undeclared major, my boyfriend ended up in intensive care for three weeks. That clinched it — I wanted to be a nurse! And it’s a good thing it happened in my first semester, because that’s when I became serious about good grades. I knew I’d never get into the nursing program without them.

I rolled right along through five years of college (worked all the while too) and only had one problem the whole time. My pediatric instructor and I got off on the wrong foot due to my car breaking down on the first day of clinicals. She gave me a hard time the whole semester.

I hated pediatrics and swore I’d never step foot in a pediatric ward after that rotation was finished!

My first job was on an adult medical surgical floor. In those days, the theory was that every nurse needed two years of med-surge experience before specializing. I loved the hospital, loved nursing and loved how the hospital staff pulled together in all situations — life and death as well as minor situations. It pulled the staff close together and we were like a big family but I knew I wasn’t cut out exactly for that job.

My next job was in a clinical setting on a college campus at the student health center. That was a whole different ballgame, and I learned a lot. That job was okay, but quickly became monotonous.

After a few years, I wanted a change. I was never so glad to get back to the hospital — and I wound up, of all places, in pediatrics! What a joke, but I’d found my niche. I have now been working in pediatrics for 13 years and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I’d miss those babies terribly!

Thank God for pediatric nursing.

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