I really enjoy having students with me. They are full of questions, and I feel like I’m contributing to the profession when I share my time, energy, and knowledge with them. Of course, it takes a lot of time and energy and explanation to work with students because you’re discussing everything you are doing, the rationale behind it, the outcomes you’re expecting, how you are going to measure those outcomes, possible solutions if things go awry at hour/step 3, 4, or 9, and so on and so on.
I recently saw a Facebook picture posted by a friend of a friend, who commented on the picture (thus pushing the random person’s picture into my stream). The picture was of a first semester nursing student who just purchased the last of her textbooks, which I later learned cost $1,700 (yes, and that’s an entirely different post altogether!). They were stacked one on top of the other, their shiny spines proudly displaying lengthy titles of pharmacology, assessment, pathophysiology, and more. The young woman leaned over the teetering books, which were easily half her height or more, giving a brilliant smile and a I’m-ready-for-school thumbs up. Comments rallied with encouragement and advice about rolling backpacks.
For a moment I thought about my own first-nursing-semester-textbook experiences and looking at all of the books, thumbing through the pages, and wondering how in the world I was going to learn all of that information. How my vision of nursing has changed! Some experiences have colored my vision for the better and some other experiences…well, not so much. However, it was my vision to develop and focus.
Students help adjust vision for their teachers, mentors, and preceptors, as well. They have a completely different outlook, which is often – at least I think – encouraging, humorous, and endearing.
I hope she saves that photo. I hope she remembers that feeling and excitement. I hope she hears the rings of encouragement over time. I hope.