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Medicineworld.org: Fulfilling A Lifelong Dream

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Fulfilling A Lifelong Dream

Fulfilling A Lifelong Dream
A scar near his left eye reminds Stanley Bartlett, 40, of why he wanted to become a nurse.

After taking a fall on the playground, a kind nurse assisted the doctor putting stitches in his wound.

"I thought I wouldn't be able to see out of that eye again, but she reassured me that everything would be OK," said Mr. Bartlett, who graduates from the Medical College of Georgia School of Nursing this Friday. "From this point on, I wanted to help people as a nurse".

His military career put that dream on hold, however, and Mr. Bartlett worked as air traffic control technician for more than 15 years. "I wanted the educational benefits the Army had to offer, so I joined right out of high school," he said. "Becoming a nurse never escaped my mind, though...... it just took a little longer."

Mr. Bartlett planned to apply to MCG in 1995 after completing a pre-nursing program at Georgia Military College, but was sidetracked by a two-year mission in Korea. His 20 years in the Army also took him to Gera number of and the Middle East.

"When I came back in '97, it was too late to get into MCG, so I pursued a degree in health care management," he said. "Once I finished that, I pursued a master's degree in health services administration."

He retired from the Army in 2000 and began work as a staff developer at Georgia Regional Hospital. He later became a training administrator, teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid to hospital staff.

"It was rewarding to see people learn and demonstrate something that you taught them," he said.

His position was abolished in 2004 when Georgia Regional Hospital and Gracewood State School and Hospital combined to form East Central Regional Hospital. Though he was disappointed to lose his job, his frustration was short-lived.

"It threw me for a second, but I didn't intend to work there for a long period of time anyway," Mr. Bartlett explained. "It became the perfect opportunity to go back to school and pursue my nursing degree. Since it happened to be time to apply to MCG, I had my acceptance letter within three weeks."

Mr. Bartlett, a husband and father of three, was excited about his acceptance but wary of the effect on his family. "My son would be in college at the same time, so we had a lot of choices to make," he said. "But my wife and I discussed it and decided we could do it."

He soon learned that the hardest part of being a non-traditional student is balancing education with family. "The work is the same regardless of your age, so I don't think my being older affected me," he said. "Finding time for my children became the real challenge."

Mr. Bartlett credits his military experience with helping him balance the intensity of schoolwork with his duties as a father. "You have to be organized and know how to set a schedule and follow it - that discipline I learned from the Army transferred over," he explained.

He also put his leadership skills to work, serving as class president his junior and senior years.

"I never planned on doing any kind of extracurricular activity, but I was recommended by a classmate, so I did it," he said. "It's been challenging, but in the end, it turned out well. I served as a leader of my class and a go-between for the students and faculty."

Another surprise he encountered was the lack of male students. Eventhough MCG recruits more male students than most nursing schools, only 14 of his 149 classmates are male.

"I knew it was a female-dominated field but never realized to what extent," he said. "But I found the professors and female students were very welcoming to us. I'd encourage all men to disregard the stereotypes - nursing is a very rewarding and lucrative career field with great benefits."

In fact, Mr. Bartlett insists that some nursing fields should be especially attractive to males. He plans to work in an operating room, which requires lifting patients and dealing with electronics.

"Most men react the same way: 'You really want to be a nurse? You sure you want to do that?'" he said. "But I just explain that it's a good field that offers a competitive salary. Once I tell them more about it, most of my friends are very supportive."

Overall, his patients have been supportive as well. "Some male patients are apprehensive about another male providing certain care like feeding them or giving them a bath," he said. "I was nervous the first time, but you get past it and find out that it's just part of your job. You have to be professional about it and as long as you explain to the patients what you're going to do and how you're going to do it, you rid their anxiety and it makes you more comfortable, too."

Mr. Bartlett said he already is reaping the benefits of his career choice.

"For me, the most rewarding part of being a nurse is when a patient actually tells you thank you for the care that you've provided," he said. "If they can tell you thank you, then you've done your job."

And sometimes the rewards are even greater.

"I saw a 14-year-old come in with a curved spine from scoliosis, and just a few hours later, her spine was dramatically straightened. It's situations like that that make you say, 'OK, this is what I want to do right here.'".

Written by Kim Miller




Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
A scar near his left eye reminds Stanley Bartlett, 40, of why he wanted to become a nurse. After taking a fall on the playground, a kind nurse assisted the doctor putting stitches in his wound. "I thought I wouldn't be able to see out of that eye again, but she reassured me that everything would be OK," said Mr. Bartlett, who graduates from the Medical College of Georgia School of Nursing this Friday. "From this point on, I wanted to help people as a nurse".

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