Early Saturday morning, with excitement and anxiety pumping through my blood, I drove to the local children’s rehabilitation hospital. As I entered the hospital’s colorful playroom on my first day of volunteering, I politely greeted each patient and nurse and introduced myself. After I settled in, I immediately asked one of the nurses if she needed any assistance, and she advised me to find a patient named Mason and bring him into the playroom. As I journeyed through the hospital’s hallways, I smiled brightly at the doctors and nurses, silently letting them know I appreciated their dedication. I finally arrived at a door decorated with a vibrant scripted poster saying: “Welcome Mason!” I knocked on the door and slowly opened it.
“Hello?” I asked in a whisper, poking my head into the frigid and sterile room.
A boy in a wheelchair rolled out of the ominous darkness and exclaimed, “Hi! I’m Mason! What’s your name?”
As he rolled into the light he lifted up his handless arm to shade himself from the bright light. With one quick glance, I began to discreetly examine his body; he had no hands and had burns and scars covering his entire body.
“I’m Nicole!” I blurted sounding extra enthusiastic.
“Do you want to play checkers?” Mason eagerly asked with pleading blue eyes.
“Sure! But I’m the Queen of checkers!” I lightheartedly teased him.
Mason chuckled to himself and playfully replied, “Well, today you’ll meet the King!”
Nursing I was in a hospital for my co-op placement, I chose this because I was considering nursing as my chosen career path. For this reason, I have researched the nursing career. I have spent many hours in this setting and feel that I have a pretty good understanding as to what goes on day to day. Before choosing to become a nurse, one must first examine themselves and look to see if they have ...
That day, I realized the most important thing in the world to Mason was playing checkers, not his appearance or hardships. After that day, I played checkers with Mason every Saturday I came to the hospital; each week wasn’t complete if I didn’t. I looked forward to playing checkers with him, because I would get the opportunity to make him smile, which happened to be the best smile I had ever come across. I also had the chance to assist Mason with his intensive physical therapy and was fortunate enough to be able to witness him gradually healing week after week. Mason sometimes got frustrated during his therapy session because he wasn’t able to do something, and I would point out something he could do, turning his “I can’t” into an “I can”. Mason seemed to have the power to whisk away all my weekly worries just by laughing and smiling at the littlest things. After working with Mason over a six month period he transferred to another hospital and left me to attend to other patients. Since my time with Mason, I look at every patient in a special way; I make it my goal to pursue the healing of each patient I come into contact with, whether that healing is by means of mental or physical contact. Since Mason was my first patient I came into contact with, he will always have a special and important place in my heart. But more importantly, it is what Mason taught me that will always be a part of me in everything I do: how to love what appears on the outside and to adore what lies on the inside.