Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It takes courage

This past Friday I did something that I really didn't want to do -- I went to talk to a class of first year nursing students. My friend Lacee (that I went to nursing school with) teachers nursing school at Meramec Community College, and she thought her students would benefit from hearing a "professional patient" talk about their experiences with nurses, hospitals and other healthcare related issues.

Most people are terrified of public speaking. This actually isn't a problem for me because I actually enjoy speaking publicly. I think I'm good at it, as I'm good at clearly conveying my thoughts, etc. MY problem is that I can't speak very loudly, and it's hard for me to project my voice, especially when I'm in a large room. When Lacee told me that I would be addressing her students in a large lecture hall, I was filled with nervous dread! When I get nervous sometimes my body does things that I can't control, like muscle spasms, for example, and I don't like anything else drawing attention to me since I'm obviously physically "different."

Needless to say, I was very nervous on Friday when I was about to leave my house to go to the college, but I wasn't going to let Lacee down, especially since she's been such a wonderful, loyal friend to me since my accident. My nervousness melted away once I got into the lecture hall and started talking. (I had a little microphone attached to my shirt, and it actually worked really well and I know everyone could hear me.)

As I said, public speaking is something that I enjoy and I was glad that I could talk to these students. My mom told me that there's a good chance that I said something to the students that will impact them and that they will remember for years to come. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but any nervousness or discomfort that I felt was well served if I can help teach future nurses things about compassion and how to be better and nurses.

All in all, it was a great experience and I'm sure I will be doing it again in the future.... especially if Lacee has anything to do with it! ;)


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