Four years old and in my nursery class – I was given an immunization shots together with the whole class. I kept asking about my mom, but they just said do not worry, you wont feel a thing, “every kid is getting it”, they said.Whatever it was, I don’t remember anymore.
What I remembered vividly was the pain I felt in my left arm when that needle went through my arm. I screamed and cried long after everyone was finished. I sat in one corner, didn’t move and waited for my mother who worked in that school to pick me up. I was mad at everyone. There was no turning back after that. I dreaded the needle, the hospitals, doctors, dentists and most of all, any kind of medical instruments.
This was followed by another traumatic incident when my mother brought me with her to visit my uncle, her cousin who is in his 60’s in a hospital.I was already twelve at that time. I never wanted to go, but she has no one to accompany her since everyone has something else to do.
The Veteran hospital was occupied by the Japanese during WW 2. It was a big old, cold concrete structure beside a national road. As we entered the lobby with a huge entrance door, I almost passed out. I could smell the hospital scent of various alcohol, medicines and disinfectants. It has an eerie smell to it. Even while typing now, my memory can still smell it.
I held tight to my mom and walked closely to her. I was so terrified; it was like in the movies. Coming towards us from different directions were male patients in white set of pajamas, gaunt and skinny because of old age or illness.
They strolled in the corridors like zombies, leaning forward with bandages in any part of the body you can think of. I closed my eyes and cried in my mom’s arm while making small steps. My whole body was cold while I perspire. When we reached my uncle’s room with four other patients, I felt relieved. But when I looked on his side and saw this man with bandage in his eyes, I almost lost it.
I do not know how we were able to leave that hospital – maybe the same way we went in, with my eyes closed. But I remember, there was a nice nurse who walked as out. I think she saw me wet with tears and sweat and took pity on me. I was too embarrassed but I could not control my fear of hospitals.
Had they allowed me to jump out of the window to get out of there, I am sure I could have done it. My uncle’s room was just in the ground floor and leads to a wide lawn straight to the gate and to the highway.
So a nursing job will never be in my mind- no matter how in demand or high paying it is. I am not as terrified as before but medical career has never attracted me. I like taking care of people. I am very devoted when someone is sick in the family, but not as a full time job.
I have high regard for people in the medical field. They are number two for me in the list of noblest job, second to teaching.
I think a nurse should enjoy being around people who need special care and help them feel comfortable and get well. They should be in their toes all the time, responding to the needs of their patients. I am more excited to be behind a desk, doing financial reports or writing an article. I know my hands are not steady to perform an injection. But I can take a blood pressure anytime.
I do not think I am also cut out to witness a roller coaster of emotion on a daily basis -which is common in the hospital. Maybe nurses are already desensitized by everyday scenes in the hospital to help them cope with the pressures of their profession.
I will leave nursing to those whose joy is being in the hospital most of their time. Unwell people deserve nurses whose heart is geared towards servicing people who needs medical care with genuine concern.