Archive for the ‘Reflect…’ Category

The night before my first day of work, I was rather upset and terribly worried about what was to come and the prospect of being a nurse for-EVER. Sitting on my bed, crying, what can only be described as a river of tears; my wise mother told me a story which I would like to share with you today.

(I cannot promise that I will tell it as well as she did on this particular night, but  I will endeavour to do it the justice that it deserves.)

There once was a beach, a rather vast expanse of a beach. One day there was a terrible accident and the starfish of the sea were mercilessly washed up on to the yellow sand that covered the area. Hundred of little pink starfish were stranded on the beach with no way of being saved. A young boy, who was walking along the sand that day, spotted the victims from afar. He looked at them, and without a split second of a thought, he began to pick them up one by one. Running to the water side, he threw them gently into the sea, giving each one back their life. The little boy’s father came to join him, and as he looked at the task his son had begun, he stopped the boy in his tracks. ‘Son’ he said, ‘what are you doing?’ The boy looked at his father and said ‘I’m putting the starfish back.’ ‘But Son, look how many there are, you will never be able to put them all back, you will never be able to make a big difference, there are just too many to save. Why are you bothering? You could work all day, but it won’t make a difference.’ As he held a soft pink fish up to his father’s eye-line, the boy replied ‘It makes a difference to him.’

The wisdom that my mother brought to me that night was this: though it seems like you are not even close to making a difference to anyone’s life on the big scale, you’re making a difference to that one single ‘starfish’.

In the last three weeks I have persisted in an overwhelming struggle to adapt to the pressures that the modern health service has for me. Since beginning my new job I have faced a variety of challenges both emotionally and physically. If I’m honest, I have questioned at many points whether Nursing really is the job for me. My passion is person-centred, holistic care. It feels as if this is something that is un-obtainable and un-achievable within the hospital setting, and with more relevance, within the ward that I work on. Many people have declared that it is possible to give person-centred, holistic care if you ‘just make the time’, but I question whether these people have truly worked within the pressure of emergency care. It is almost impossible to even talk to a patient for longer than to ask a question, already it has become a never-ending battle with being pushed from one task to another, the persistent drive for discharges is overwhelming. I am constantly frustrated with the lack of opportunity to give my full attention to the patients and to look after not only the physical needs of those I care for, but their emotional and spiritual well being, too. This irritation makes me question my career choice even more. However, I have clung on to the wisdom of my mother, striving to visualise the lonely starfish of my ward and although I may come home at night thinking that it’s too big a task to make any real difference, I live in hope that I may have saved just one person’s physical, emotional or spiritual life.

Last Sunday I had decided that I would not be going to Church. My plan was to sleep until I woke up and then relax in front of the TV for the rest of the day. God had other plans. I woke at 10:30 with time enough to get ready for church. I arrived after deciding that I would just stay for worship… In the worship time I really felt God remind me that struggles and suffering is sometimes a good thing but that he is standing right beside me through it. This was such a relief.

‘…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance…’ (Romans 5:3)

 I stayed to hear the preach and was blessed so well by Hugh Pearce speaking about ‘rest’. It was a perfect reminder that the ‘rest’ that the world offers does not revive and refresh, but Jesus alone brings true ‘rest’. This was a much needed message to hear. (There was a lot more to it than that… If you have some time I’d very much recommend it. You can find it HERE.) Man, does God speak when you least expect it. I’m very blessed to have a wonderful counsellor in my life who cares about MY holistic care and I just hope and pray that I can take Him with me to the starfish of Kent.


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