I wrote a blog, a few years ago, and published it on Eons….of course, it’s gone. I was reminded of it today by something that came in the mail. But let me tell you what I blogged back then, first..
In the early Nineties, I was the Charge Nurse in the Operating Room at the local hospital. We had eight operating room suites on the first floor, and two in Labor and Delivery. Additionally, during my tour of duty, the hospital opened its Open Heart Surgery services.
Also during my tenure, many of the scrub techs went back to school and became RNs. And many of the RNs took their training to become RNFAs: Registered Nurse First Assistants. That was the time of big changes in the OR, insurance companies were no longer paying MDs to “assist” surgeons with routine surgeries…. And so, RNFAs took on that role.
One person I remember fondly was Noel. I called him Noelito because he was Hispanic and barely 18 at the time he was hired to work in the OR as an orderly. His job was to go fetch patients from the nursing units and bring them down to the OR holding area.
When patients were transported directly back to their nursing unit, without going to recovery, Noelito would assist the RN who had to accompany the patient and give report. He was always busy and always willing to help anyone who needed help.
In the holding area, he would take time to make the patients comfortable, bringing them warm blankets and getting a nurse to answer their questions. I was quite impressed with his demeanor and with his work ethic.
One day I brought him a book, an English-Spanish dictionary for medical workers. Since he was Hispanic, patients naturally started talking to him in Spanish, a language he could not speak. As he was standing at the desk in the holding area, determining what he needed to do next, I approached him and put the book down in front of him.
He looked up at me, and I knew he needed an explanation why I would buy a book for him. My reply was simple: “you can go far in this world, if you want to…”. He carried that book in his pocket all the time and I saw him looking up words in it more than once.
I mentioned in my previous blog that I was planting seeds with him. I don’t think he was aware of how much he had to offer, or how much he was capable of learning. I wrote that blog because I had seen Noelito at the mall. Not Noelito the orderly, but Noel, the RN. Since my departure from the OR, he had gone back to school, gotten his prerequisites done, and entered the nursing program.
I forgot to ask him if he still had the dictionary—the seed—that I gave him…
In today’s mail, I received the quarterly magazine from the hospital. One of the articles was about their new Endourology services and equipment. In the photo, dressed in an OR gown, gloves, hat and laser goggles, was Noel, RN. But not just Noel, RN, anymore: he is now Noel, RNFA, having completed that advanced training, too.
I am not going to take any credit for his accomplishments. He is the one who did all the hard work of going to school and working fulltime. He is the one who balanced his new little family, his job and his schooling. And he is the one who graduated, took his boards, and passed. And then decided to get some additional training, too….
All I did, I think, was plant the seed….