I would not say that ever since I was a kid, I have always dreamt to be a nurse. I never really thought about the profession that much. I was never really interested in medicine or anything that involves taking responsibility of a human life. I believed that those kinds of professions require great emotional stability, so instead, I initially engaged in a profession where I did not have to deal with any life-threatening situation or death. As a result, I enrolled and finished my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in a business school back in Vietnam in 1997.
I also worked in different business companies and attempted to build my own business. Everything was going well until my brother died. He was the closest to me, so the accident changed everything in me—including my views in life and decisions. It was in 1999 when he got killed in a car accident. I was with him in the hospital when nurses and doctors came in rushing to his aid. I saw them attaching him tubes, cleaning his wounds, and trying to stop the bleeding. They were all over him and everybody was talking at once, including my groaning brother who was too weak to yell his pain.
I was there standing—doing nothing but watch him as the doctors tried to save him. I have witnessed how he suffered and how he wearily cried in pain as the nurses tried to get the shards of glasses and metals which pierced almost his entire body. I heard him called me and my mother but all we could do was peek through the door. The doctors said he passed away after hours of trying to revive him in the operating room. I could not imagine how I could ever cope with the loss of my brother. I felt worthless and weak. At some point, maybe I felt guilty.
I felt guilty because I did not do anything. Ever since we were kids, we always got each other’s back; and the idea that I did not do anything while he was suffering made me feel like I have betrayed him—that I have left him alone. My family is the first of our generation to migrate in the United States. Upon migrating, I made a pact with myself that I would be living a whole new life here. It has been almost a decade since my brother died. I have earned enough to pursue another degree, and this time I am decided to become a nurse.
It is not merely because I am trying to justify my worth had I been a nurse when my brother was in the hospital; but when he died, a realization came over me that we only stay alive for a short while. With that realization, it made me think, if that is the case, then I would prefer to help on contributing more time for patients in need. Who knows, I can even assist in prolonging their lives if I have the skills. Having a deceased brother as a motivation may sound too emotional.
While it is true that this kind of profession requires emotional stability, I am confident that after almost ten years, I have already accepted the fact that my brother is now at peace. It is also one of the primary reasons why I choose to enroll in a Catholic university. I am comfortable with the fact that my education would be taken care of by a Catholic institution which incorporates values in professionalism. It does not merely focus on the skills of its students but also on the development of their virtues.
This way, students are expected to carry out their tasks with the consideration of the people they will serve in the future. With the raging war in Iraq and the memory of my brother, I intend to offer my skills and determination in helping out in the medical needs of other people. Together with a university which has a reputation in upholding social responsibility in the society amongst other humane values, I am confident that as a future nurse I know that I have what it takes to become a nurse.