• linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    The other side of nursing

    By remembering why she became a nurse and helping those less fortunate, this nurse has finally found the fulfillment she'd been looking for.


    Helping the world's most destitute

    These experiences made it clear to me that my life was leading in another direction of nursing—helping the most destitute. Later, on a mission trip to Honduras, I saw my future. In this country of 7 million people, the average family income is about $1,000 a year. Healthcare is substandard, with most women giving birth at home without any professional medical assistance. There, I know that I can make a difference.

    Next year, our family will be moving to Honduras. My husband will work within the community to open a church. I will open a medical clinic and provide community healthcare. And I will continue to be involved in disaster relief around the world. My 11-year-old daughter, Madison, will be working with the 20,000 orphaned street children.

    Most of the time, we won't see "the other side of nursing." We won't hear back from the patients we've cared for or the lives we may have touched. But we know we've made an impact.

    Remember the caring side of nursing

    What does this mean for you? Simply put, think outside the box. There are so many aspects to nursing that we aren't always taught in nursing school. Remember your call to nursing. Remember why you're there and the patients and families in whose lives you've played a part. And never forget "the other side of nursing."

    ERIN PETTENGILL, RN, is currently attending language school in Costa Rica in preparation for her move to Honduras. To learn more about her work, visit her on the Web at http://www.pettengillmissionaries.org/.