Living out my childhood dream of becoming a “Superhero”
One student shares his childhood memories and the inspiration to
become a nurse to make the world a better place…
Starting from the time that I was a small child, I knew who I wanted to be. At an early age I witnessed a neighbor have a heart attack. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew it was bad. She was in pain. I wanted to help but didn’t know how. My mother, who was the only health teacher in our city, doubled as the Red Cross CPR and First Aid instructor in the local hospital. I watched her perform CPR to a live person. Many times I have watched her instruct adults on what to do, we even had the Rescue Annie dummies in our living room. This was the first time I witnessed it actually being performed on a person that truly needed it.
The neighbor, although as valiantly as my mother tried, did not make it for long. During the trip to the hospital she passed. As I watched her adult children come in to her home crying, sifting through her life, and trying to find comfort with each other, I realized what I wanted to do. If I could help one family not go through the pain I witnessed, then this world would be a better place. I could help people and be a SUPERHERO!
At the age of eleven I started on my journey. I started to work as the only male volunteer at the local hospital. Starting out small, I would offer to do anything I could. My mother and I were voracious readers so we had hundreds of books in the house. I started a library cart and would take it room to room with the books from our home. After less than six months one nurse saw my interest and started to teach me duties, more than the regular volunteer were performing. Every opportunity I had to shadow her I would, until one day she allowed me to assist her in taking a patient to the bathroom. Here I was, this eleven years old boy, helping wipe a man’s bottom that could not do it for himself. Most kids would say “Ewwwwww!”, but not me. I was on my way to becoming the SUPERHERO I wanted to be. I was helping those in need. By the time I was twelve, I probably washed more elderly people than most do in a lifetime. At the age of fourteen, I was organizing the other volunteers and implementing new programs that were of my creation, all designed by listening to the patients during those meal times.
Now at 45 years of age, I have over thirty three years in the health field. Helping put a smile on a patient’s face while going through the oncological process, helping treat patients so they live longer lives, and even helping ease the dying process are the elements of the SUPERHERO I wanted to become. My mother and father, I believe, would be proud of me and the nurse I have become.
Jersey College provides me with teachers that are knowledgeable, learning support that challenges me with adaptive learning, and an environment that promotes learning. Every day I come in to supporting faces and everyone knows your name. They treat me like I treat my patients, like family. Here at Jersey College the professors use applicable knowledge and experience to help with real world application. Jersey College is helping me to further my career. As an RN, I can work in Pediatric Oncology. This is ultimately where I have always wanted to work. Jersey College is helping me to become the SUPERHERO I know I can be to kids who really need positive in their lives.