Academic journal article Research and Theory for Nursing Practice

"I Can't Stand Needles!"

Academic journal article Research and Theory for Nursing Practice

"I Can't Stand Needles!"

Article excerpt

Recently I was talking with a young man who was coming to the end of his term with the marines. He was talking about his GI educational benefit and the difficulty he was having in deciding on a field of study for a future career. As he discussed several possible options, all very logical, I didn't see him show a lot of real passion for any of them. I did hear him say that he couldn't really see himself behind a desk all the time, and that he wanted something that was exciting. Knowing that he was also a compassionate and good-hearted person, and that nursing offered plenty of excitement and a minimum of sitting at a desk, I asked if he had considered any of the health fields. "Oh, I can't stand needles!" this battle-tested sharpshooter vehemently exclaimed.

Granted, a genuine nurse recruiter would likely have had a persuasive retort for this sort of undoubtedly common response. And in reality, recruiting this young man to a career in health care or nursing was not my role at the time, although I tried to clarify that some aspects of health care didn't involve needles at all. Nonetheless, I was saddened, for him and for us, by the dismissal of the whole arena of health care by this great prospect based on a hatred for needles. Nursing and all of health care was DOA by needle association, likely a lasting impression from a traumatic immunization in childhood.

Seeing how the intensity of this young man's feelings about needles transformed into the wholesale discharge of an entire range of career choices struck a chord with me, especially as a professor of nursing theory and research charged to instill professional values and foster commitment to scholarly inquiry and practice. …

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