Pediatric Orthopedics

Summer, 1975-Junior in College of Nursing

After much debate with my parents, I decided to go to summer school so I could graduate in March rather than June. The job market is rather tight right now for new graduates, so I’m hoping there will be more openings available if I graduate ahead of my classmates.

I only took 13 hours of classes this summer (two 4 hour nursing courses, and 5 hours of American history), but it was totally exhausting, because I had to study so much for my two nursing classes in orthopedics and pediatrics. When I felt like I was at the breaking point, I met with my Pastor and he wisely counseled me to stop teaching two Bible Clubs so I could concentrate on my studies. He said I would have plenty of time to serve the Lord after I graduated. But if I didn’t graduate, it would be a poor testimony to my parents (who were not yet Christians) and others.

My clinical site was at the Children’s Hospital on the neurology/orthopedic unit which was interesting. Since I’m now in my junior year of nursing, we were assigned more acute patients compared to last year in the nursing home. Half the summer I cared for children with neurological problems such as brain tumors and seizure disorders (epilepsy). It saddened me to care for the children with brain tumors who did not have much longer to live.

Chuck HATED Being in Traction!

Chuck HATED Being in Traction!

Most of the orthopedic patients were 8-12 years old and in traction for the summer. Chuck had a bicycle accident and was totally frustrated about being imprisoned in bed. I brought in his lunch tray and set it up on his over bed table. As I turned to leave the room, he picked up his entire tray and flung it to the floor while he screamed, “I HATE THIS PLACE!!!” He was in a room with three other boys, so the other boys started crying because they were so startled and frightened by his actions. I pressed the call light and said I needed his nurse and my instructor immediately! I definitely felt like I was in over my head and was at a loss of words as to how to calm the boys. The experienced staff members rushed in and took command of the situation. His nurse gave Chuck a sedative and a pain pill while the housekeeper cleaned up the mess on the floor. I exited the room and reviewed what had happened with my instructor in the conference room.

I was so thankful when this difficult summer ended!

Reflection – 2014

As I reread my journal which recorded how much I struggled through that summer, I began to learn the important lesson that it is never God’s will for us to be serving Him so much that we don’t have time to sit at His feet in worship first. If there is not first true effectual worship there will be no effectual service. So often I see a need and automatically think it is God’s will for me to fulfill it. But perhaps it is God’s will that it not be done or that someone else does it.

I reread about the two sisters, Martha and Mary, in Luke 10: 38-42. Martha gladly welcomed the Lord Jesus Christ into her home, but was overly occupied and too busy and distracted with much serving. She became upset when her sister Mary also sat at Jesus’ feet and listened eagerly to His words. When Martha asked the Lord to rebuke her sister Mary, He gently rebuked Martha instead.

“Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

May the Lord help us all to sit quietly at His feet while we let Him speak to our heart through His precious word and renew and strengthen us for the day that is ahead of us. I will close with the words from the first verse of my favorite hymn. Whenever I sing this prayer to the Lord, it helps me focus my heart on Him once again.

“Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting” by Jean S. Pigott.

Jesus, I am resting, resting in the joy of what Thou art;

I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart,

Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, And Thy beauty fills my soul;

For, by Thy transforming power, Thou hast made me whole.

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