Jessie Whitmer

Submitted 2022-07-11

I’ve always been the person who helps, ever since I can remember I was the helper. It’s the only way I know how to be. I took my certified nursing assistant classes in high school, and at first, I wasn’t honestly sure I could see myself working in healthcare. I was a terrified child fixing to graduate and enter the real world. My papaw was my biggest inspiration there ever was. I am who I am because of my papaw. You see when I was two my papaw was hit by a train. He almost didn’t survive. Thankfully, although disabled, he did survive. My papaw pushed me to my limits, and then some to achieve my goals in life. He knew I had the strength and intelligence in me to pursue any career I wanted too.

In 2015 my papaw was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in the left lung and lymph nodes. We were devastated. He started taking radiation and chemotherapy multiple times a week. After 8 months of treatment, he was rechecked by a PET scan, only to find it had metastasized to both lungs, his liver, and his brain. He only lived 2 months after that. On February 13, 2016, my papaw passed away at the young age of fifty eight. He is my inspiration to become a registered nurse. He knew I could make something of myself, while fulfilling one of my basic compositions as a human, the need to help people. Even though he is gone, he is my motivation for career aspirations that I wish to achieve at Western Kentucky University.

Working as a healthcare provider can be an overwhelming but rewarding experience. To prepare yourself mentally and physically before performing life saving techniques on patients, you must be well trained in life saving techniques. I wasn’t prepared for my first code that I performed in critical care/intensive care. I remember being nervous, not knowing if I was doing everything right. I stopped to take some deep breaths and jumped right in to save our patients life. The team around you is a vital source of information, and preparation in performing emergency medical treatment. Build strong relationships with your coworkers. Emergency situations can happen in the blink of an eye. It helps to always remain prepared for these situations, just knowing at any second an incident can happen sets the mind for efficient response time to emergencies. Deep breathing exercises also helps to slow your own heart rate and stabilize your mentality to think and act quickly.

I have always enjoyed the fast paced, critical/intensive care setting. It’s such an open opportunity for healthcare professionals to really fine tune their skills. CCU/ICU is full of action all the time. The educational opportunities are phenomenal. There wasn’t a shift that went by where I wasn’t doing some extreme life-saving measure. Critical thinking skills have always got to be at the ready when in a setting such as CCU/ICU or the emergency department. These units take special kind of people to work them. They’re not for the weak hearted.

I want to be able to give back to people in need. I feel like a lot of newer nurses have come to the table thinking the position is all about money. I want to restore what it means to be a nurse. I have been a certified nurse’s assistant for the last twelve years, and it is my dream career to become a registered nurse. I love taking care of patients. Each time I take care of a patient, I leave at the end of the day satisfied knowing I made a difference in someone’s life. My papaw always pushed me to reach for the stars when it came to my goals for life. He knew from the beginning that I had what it took to be a nurse. I’m kind, compassionate, caring, friendly, easy to get along with, and patient.

My papaw is no longer with me now, but I still yearn to make him proud with my accomplishments in this life. I’m the first generation in my family to go to a university, and papaw would be so proud to know where I’m at today. I will graduate from Western Kentucky University with my head held high, and tears rolling down my cheeks. It is my dream to become a Registered Nurse, with a bachelor’s degree. I want to give back to the community we serve as healthcare workers.

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