Being a nurse is no easy feat. One must wake up early in the morning or early in the evening to prepare for work come good or bad weather. Before going to the workplace, the nurse must make sure that her paraphernalias are complete, her uniform well pressed, her hair neat and tidy and most of all, her smile well plastered on her face. Four years in college is never enough to be prepared for the experiences one earns on nursing practice. I, myself is a living witness on how challenging it really is.
I am a pediatric nurse in one of the government hospitals in my province. Five days a week, I face the gruesome reality that whether I like it or not, I’m going to take care of 15-20 patients in a ward. How could I render quality nursing care to my patients without compromising their health and mine? That is the question I ask myself every time. The reality discouraged me so greatly at first that I kept on doubting if indeed it is my vocation to enter the profession that I have chosen until I met a particular patient. Let’s call her X. X, a preterm baby, was admitted at the neonates ward for acute respiratory distress syndrome. She was intubated, with orogastric tube for feeding and on very close monitoring. Naturally as a healthcare giver, I assisted her on her daily basic needs. I gave her feeding, checked her oxygenation status frequently, aided her during elimination and comforted her significant others. Unconsciously, I was using Orem’s self care deficit theory, particularly that of the wholly compensatory mechanisms. After a month from admission, X’s status improved. She was weaned and was extubated successfully. Gradually she was able to tolerate breastfeeding. Nearly two months in the hospital, X’s condition greatly improved and was discharged. Having witnessed X’s fight to survive made me realize how fullfilling it is to be able to help the sick. Honestly, I have never expected that she will make it through. Because of her, I learned to love my profession. She unknowingly encouraged me to become the kind of nurse that I am now.
Orem’s theory is constantly applied in my nursing practice. Understanding the concepts on the significance of balance between the person’s self-care abilities and his or her universal self care needs helped me serve my clients in the most humane, compassionate and competent way possible.