My First Experience as a Male Nurse in the Priestly White Uniform
I can't Wait for this day to Come
It was a sunny bright day. A day I had anticipated all my years after school. When am I also going to be in this priestly white uniform? How will I look in it? How does it feel to care for my patients in this next to holy uniform? These and many more were questions that ran through my mind.
I was up very early; I must get to the hospital in time. This was my first time of reporting to that unit. First impression last longer. I got there 30 minutes before the normal resumption time, quickly rushed into the little heighty changing room. I was all alone in it. Of course it could only take one person at a time. Then I brought out my white uniform neatly ironed. As I held it, it was glittering perhaps due to the reflection of the just rising sun on it. It looked so sacred that I was very careful of not soiling it with my hands. I cleaned the two hands once again and started putting it on. After all these, I stood in front of the little old mirror in the room to at least view myself to the point the mirror could see. Wow! Was the exclamation, this is beautiful. It looked like something else. I really looked like an angel. This is really fitting, I said to myself. Well this feeling might be because am not really used to wearing a purely white cloth.
Off into the Hospital Ward
I proudly strolled out of the changing room into the female medical ward, my shoe was also new. The night nurses were ready to handover to me and my colleague. I placed my hands in my pocket with a very bright smile “we are ready to take over now” We took over twenty seven patients with all kinds of illness. There were even some who were unconscious and needed to be suctioned as at when due (PRN) and the output closely monitored. Oh! My goodness, I protested within myself, is it today that am putting on this new holy priestly uniform that I had to do all these dirty jobs. ‘I remembered while in the nursing school how we use to select which patient to care for. Some of us avoid the critically ill patients but here I was left with no option.
Handing Over and Taking Over
I quickly went through every documentation made and started work at once. My prideful gait gradually began to reduce as the patients in severe pain started yelling at me and calling as though they were the one who sponsored my schooling in nursing. I was humbled, I felt more for the unconscious patients who had many complaints but couldn’t relate them. I tried all my possible best. I was very observant. I was always alert to the flipping of her fingers and little changes in the rhythm of her assisted respiration. I could almost hear what is running through the mind of this patient, like I was hearing her calling for help as though locked up in a room in the great beyond. I didn’t know what to do, than to place the hand on her fore head and hold the hands to say ‘sorry, I believe you have chances to come out of this’. This I did after every procedure, I never knew it went a long way in the survival of the woman.
All she saw were Men in White Robe
After some months that this unconscious patient recovered from her unconsciousness, she told the story, she said she never knew if she was conversing with angels or with men. She said all she saw were men and women in white robe coming around to put something in her mouth to suck out the fluid and then touch her fore head and hands to say ”sorry, I believe you have chances to come out of this” she said as she saw the priestly garment, she became more confident and resolved that she can fight this. Each time I touch her she said she felt something like a magical strength flow through her to give her power and courage of determination to still face life. Oh! I exclaimed, I never knew the little touch and words made more sense. I could have done it more than I did!
I wish you sit Right Beside me all Through, I Love you Nurses
The other patients in pain too narrated their own experience after being discharged. One of them said I groaned and shouted at you when I was in pain and needed something not because I hated you. It was simply because at that moment for me, you were the person next to God, you were my saviour. I wished you stayed or sit right beside me with your white uniform but didn’t know how to tell you since you had other patients to attend to. My calling you wasn’t merely to take those horrible looking drugs from you but for you to come and literarily drive away what is causing this pain and making my life miserable. But there was no way I could say this to you. Even when my immediate family members and relatives had other important things to attend to, you postponed your own important things to come to work, when doctors came and went away with answers to ridiculous questions they asked me, you were still here, right with us! I love you nurses, she exclaimed!
White in the Heart
I was dazed, still thinking about the scenario, then I once again thought about the white uniform of which I had raised so many questions like why it had to be white for all these dirty jobs. Perhaps it had to be white because the dirty jobs must be done in a clean environment without the nurse getting soiled in dirt or better still, it had to be white because it portrays what we are as nurses within (in the heart) and without.