Education of a cancer nurse

Excerpted from “I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse

“You’re a good girl,” he tells me. “You’re a good nurse.”


Am I? Maybe Roger is right to say so, but he told me I was a good person, first, and for me this is a valuable distinction. I have a lifetime of learning ahead of me. I apply many of the things I learned in school, but I’ve forgotten most. Random snippets of the rules come back to me, at times, but my mind will eventually eradicate them all, relearn them, and reinvent them. I remember two rules that always seemed tricky. First, a good nurse is unbiased. Yet, there’s a universal rule that you don’t choose who you love. Even strangers in a hospital room can steal your heart as quickly and easily as dropping a straw. Second, there’s a difference between empathy and sympathy, and a good nurse solely empathizes. I haven’t figured out how to be that sort of nurse, yet; honestly, I’m not interested in learning. See


About The Rev. Thomas C. Jackson

Ordained to the priesthood in December, 2010.
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