『Stories for Nurses―英語コラムで読む看護師の物語』（K. Lynn Wieck 原著，田中芳文編著，廣渡太郎・山﨑麻由美・片岡由美子著，本体2,200円+税）収載のコラム”The Joy of Nursing”をご紹介します。”I love being a nurse! I’m not ashamed to say it. “から始まるとても素敵なコラムです（イラスト・櫻田耕司さん，原著者からリプリントの了解を得て紹介）。
I love being a nurse! I’m not ashamed to say it. Nursing brings me joy every day of my life. However, one of the concerns I have for both the current and the future workforce in nursing is the rampant amount of negativism. It seems that not enough positive things are being said about the nursing profession these days. When you read about nursing in most newspapers and in magazines, the focus is mainly on how managed care is ruining everything. The healthcare picture portrayed in public media is usually very negative. So, who is talking about the joys of being a nurse? If everything we read depicts the sorrows and horrors of nursing, can we expect to attract bright and dedicated young people into our profession? It is past time for someone to talk about the joy of nursing. True, there are a lot of days when nurses probably live closer to the negatives of managed care than the joys of being a nurse. When you are tired, overworked, underappreciated, and fearful for your license, it can be difficult to remember why you became a nurse in the first place. Let’s begin by talking about that “feeling.” You know the one I am talking about? It’s that feeling you get when you reach deep inside your professional nurse self and do something that lights up the whole room. Maybe you are the only one who sees it. Maybe a patient, family, or peer sees it. Maybe the whole unit sees it. The important thing, however, is that you see it. You know when you do well, when you make a difference. You also must know that sweet feeling deep in your inner self that flashes like electricity into your fingertips and your toes and makes you feel lighter than air. It’s that feeling that spreads to your brain where a slight smile cannot be repressed, and you fear your whole head must be glowing like a neon sign in the darkness. Then you look back at what you did, and you know you made a difference. You know it was extraordinary, and you savor the moment with this thought:“ This is why I wanted to become a nurse!” I think nurses are blessed with this feeling, although I imagine engineers get it, too, when their gadgets actually work. Maybe accountants get it when column A actually equals column B. I imagine teachers get it when a student finally grasps a concept or figures out a problem. But in nursing, we are so fortunate that incidents which trigger the feeling come often and leave us feeling invincible. Remember when that patient crashed? You looked at the situation and knew just what to do with precision and compassion. Maybe a student or two were watching in awe and admiration. Your actions made a difference in a person’s life. What an awesome privilege! This special feeling is the essence of the joy of nursing. I had one of those feelings recently when a perfect stranger came up to me and said, “You don’t know me. I’m a nurse. I hated my job and had decided to get out of nursing recently, but I read your column ［titled］ ‘My Most Unforgettable Patient,’ and I remembered why I became a nurse. I decided I could never give that up, so I changed jobs, and I’m so much happier.” I thanked her for her kind words and continued along my path, as did she. But I kept wondering whether people were noticing the sudden brightness from my glowing head, or if they wondered what I was smiling about. It’s that“ feeling”! It’s why I became a nurse.