I've never liked watches. Something about having a piece of metal or leather constricting my wrist made me feel claustrophobic. I'd wear a set of pearl earrings and feel complete. When I started nursing school, I still didn't want to wear a watch. I knew I would need that second hand to help with counting respirations and pulses, but I tried everything I could think of to avoid that constricting circle. I really don't remember what my solution was, but I do remember a specific white, leather band watch with a large face. Several nursing emblems peppered the face, adding subtle color and proclaiming "I am a Nurse, and darn it I'm proud of it".
This watch belonged to one of my nursing instructors, Mrs. Gina Woody. I had already been through several semesters of nursing school, and I was placed in her clinical my senior year. This clinical was right before the last semester, and our clinical days were spent on an intermediate unit with challenging patients. Mrs. Woody would wear a starched white uniform dress, white hose, white shoes, a barney-purple jacket, and a thick white watch. Her hair was always styled perfectly, and she was the kind of woman I hoped to be like when I was older.
There was something about that watch. Just like its hands steadily tick and move forward, so she would lead us through our day. She paid attention to the details, and she instilled in me a desire to bring order and excellence to my future nursing career. Her starched uniform showed she was proud to be a nurse, and this pride was infectious. Because of her, I chose to begin my nursing career on that same floor.
Tomorrow, I will meet 10 first-level nursing students from our local community college. I will be their clinical instructor for the next few months, and I will be their first impression of this foreign world. Will I fade into the back of their memory 5 years from now, or will they remember me as their cheerleader?
I truly am excited, because I will help them lay their foundations that will carry them through the rest of their program, career, and hopefully life.
We are both new at this. I've never been a clinical instructor before. They've never been through a full day of clinical.
I will show up with donuts, to help ease their nerves a bit, prove I'm human, and hopefully wake them up.
Oh, and a cute watch.