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William F. Connell School of Nursing

The Smallest Act of Caring

student voice - rebecca pope '10 - spring 2007

Staring longingly into the eyes of my boss, Dr. McDreamy, and taking in every one of his complicated commands in his fancy, medical jargon and then running off to use his wisdom to save lives is always a dream of mine.  It isn’t, however, my motivation for becoming a nurse.  Nor is the fact that the career I’ve chosen is in great demand and my chances of finding a job right out of school are high.  I am not motivated by the thought of working under gorgeous, intelligent doctors or by becoming a hero or even by the job security that comes with a career in nursing.  Instead, I am inspired to be a nurse by my mother and grandmother; by the opportunity to ease people’s pain and by the education I am receiving here at Boston College.

Throughout my life, my mother and grandmother have been my own personal nurses.  When I was a child, my grandmother would turn my bath tub into a McDonald’s drive thru and as she whizzed by, pretending to be a police officer or a construction worker, inside the tub, I’d scurry to fill her order with my plastic Happy Meal toys.  My mother zipped my dress before every high school dance and she’d smile and tell me I was beautiful as we looked at my made up face in the mirror.  Of course, my mom and grandma cared for me when I was sick too.  During dreaded shots at the hospital, they’d hold my hand as I cried my heart out, they iced my puffy cheeks after I had my wisdom teeth out and they catered to my every wish when I hurt my ankle.  My mother and grandmother served as nurses in several hospitals before they came to be the nurses to my body, mind and spirit.  Regardless of whether I had just won a basketball game or wrecked my brand new car, they were there waiting with kind words and open arms.  By their constant care and enduring love, they nursed me into the person I am today and inspired me to be a nurse, as they were and still are.

As a nurse, I aim to follow the example of my mother and grandmother: to be kind, generous, thoughtful and honest.  I aspire to carry the values these women have instilled in me into the hospital and to use them to brighten the spirits and relieve the pain of my patients.  A magnet on the wall in my room displays a quote from Leo Buscaglia that reads: “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”  With this quote constantly in the back of mind, I hope to bring comfort to the stressed, happiness to the sad and relief to the suffering by giving the love and care that my mother and grandmother gave to me to all of my patients.

Last spring, when it came time for me to choose my route for becoming a nurse, my mother and grandmother were by my side once again.  They helped me to identify what factors were important to me in selecting a university to continue my education.  After many tours, long information sessions and frustrating web searches, we found these elements—which included a Jesuit education, an exciting locale and a unique nursing program—at Boston College.  One challenging and thrilling semester later, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to enroll in the Boston College Connell School of Nursing.  Everyday I am amazed by my experienced professors and the abundance of opportunities that await me.  While Ohio and Illinois are a long way from Boston, I still feel the encouragement and love of my mother and grandmother and I know I am in the right place to become the nurse they’ve motivated me to be.