Over our Thanksgiving break we’ve been putting this question out there to all of the nurses and doctors we know: What are you thankful for that helped you get through nursing or medical school?  We’ve received all kinds of answers. Some were very close, and others were on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. So we’re asking YOU to tell us which ones you agree with more. Different things do work for different people. What helped you?

One of the people who responded is currently going to school for radiation therapy. When we originally brought the question to her, she wasn’t sure how to respond. However, when we told her that we were looking for the pure, unadulterated truth, she broke down and told us how it really was. “Honestly, I feel like I want to give up every day,” She told us. When we asked her what prevented her from giving up, she gave us three things right away: A love for patients and the medical field, “Patients are funny and sweet it’s really the reason I’m so happy to go to work.” The second thing she listed was the fact that she had made it as far as she had, and “couldn’t turn back now.” And last but not least she said her family and friends were helping her through it, and she was thankful for that.

Another one of our responses was from a woman who made it through medical school and is currently a Registered Nurse. She agreed with our first source and stated, “The patients. As soon as you start clinical, get on the floor and get that first patient, you’re hooked. That’s the make it or break it point.” She went on to state that the first day of clinical experience was when you knew whether or not this is what you were “born to do.” On a less serious note, she added two more things she was thankful for that helped get her through: “Wine and your nursing school friends.”  Not a dialysis nurse, I’m guessing.

While friends and family (and wine,) are important, there was one nurse who responded who surprised us. “What got me through, besides wanting to be a nurse, was that I had pictures of small goals in my nursing school binder. Pictures like one of a muscle car.” We couldn’t help but look a little confused-but she went on to explain, ”I told myself if I passed a particular course, I would buy myself that car.” She aced the course, but didn’t end up buying the car. (We told her she should have!)

Around Thanksgiving is a great time to ask these questions and post this blog. But the truth is this: These nurses are thankful every day for the support they have, the patients that make it worth it for them, and the drive they have, no matter what the motivation is. What are you thankful for?

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