I heard the familiar sound of the front door closing gently. My father was returning from work as a barber. Although he begins his day at 5:00 a.m. every morning, he usually returns at around 7:00 p.m. I never really questioned his schedule when I was a child, but as I entered high school I wondered how my dad could work so hard every day of the week and still enjoy what he does. The uncertainties of barbering are so great and so challenging. It never ceases to amaze me when my father wakes up every morning to start work, that he does so with gusto. The life of a barber can be laborious and stressful, yet my father continues to do his work with passionate enthusiasm. His dedication and pride mystified me throughout high school. Only after I entered college in my late 20’s, did I start to understand how he could persevere and face the challenges of raising a family and running his business.
I entered college like a small child wandering through a park. Never in my life had I been exposed to anything so grandiose and dominating. Born and raised in a rural town, I wasn’t ready for the fast-paced life and crowds. I eventually grew into its lifestyle and learned to adapt to my new environment. I found my communication class, in which we discussed major issues in health care, especially interesting. The nurse’s dilemma particularly intrigued me: Doing everything to provide the best health care possible, but constrained by limited resources when the funds just are not available.
These frustrating situations place a huge strain on nurses, and yet they persevere and continue to work long hours in hospitals, and clinics providing the best care they can. While thoroughly aware of the long hours a nurse must work and the challenges he or she faces, I am choosing medicine because of the unique satisfaction it provides — the rewards of helping a sick human being. As I think about a nurse’s life, I also think of the many times I have watched my father sit silently at the dinner table, deep in thought, contemplating his options when his business was not bringing in enough income and the bills continue to arrive. I didn’t hear him complain; I only heard him leave early in the morning and come home late in the evening to make sure that we had everything he did not as a child growing up.
I also saw determination and tenacity in my mother and father to never give up but to keep on trying to the achieve a higher goal. They both came from very large and poor families and were determined to not have me grow up without an education. I will harness that determination in my life and my quest to earn my degree in nursing. They showed me what it means to really enjoy a career. I can have that same enjoyment through nursing– the same type of enjoyment my Parents had from tending to their jobs, and businesses.
Becoming a nurse is a goal aspired to by many. As a barber’s son, I have wakened early and returned home late from long days with my father. I have been able to experience uncertainties, challenges, and plain old hard work similar to that faced by nurses. But like the doctors in the hospitals and my parents in their work, I can find happiness and satisfaction in helping people through medicine. Despite all the hardship nurses face, I want to help people every day. Nursing is something worth stress and long hours. I finally understand my father. I now know how he can wake up every morning at 5:00 a.m. and work hard until 7:00 p.m. and now I will do the same for my family. I will heavily stress the importance of a college degree and a good work ethic.
I feel that this is the reason more and more Hispanics are earning their college degrees; they don’t want the hardships of their past generations to be placed on their children.