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Julian S.

AWESOME OCCUPATION

Registered Nurse

FAVORITE SCRUBS

Chisec™/Cairo™

FAVORITE COLOR

Pop Red

Q: What do you wish that people outside of healthcare knew/understood about nurses?

Q: What do you wish that people outside of healthcare knew/understood about nurses?

A: I wish people knew how much it takes out of nurses to show up every day and give 110%, your *personal* self. I can't just give the patient some meds and walk out the door. I have to care about what's going on with you, your family and loved ones. And if they’re not there, I have to take on that role. There's so much more than just giving out meds and filling out paperwork.

JULIAN S., RN
Q: What made you decide to be a nurse?

Q: What made you decide to be a nurse?

A: As a nurse, you’re basically there every step of the way. You're there in good times, bad times, rough times, and you're basically there in the most intimate part of somebody's life. For me, I just wanted to be there and just be, hopefully, a beacon of hope, showing some tough love and being a strong support system to whoever is in a hospital.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?

A: This past year specifically, it’s been all about really keeping people alive through COVID-19. We’ve been fighting COVID every day. Nothing else but COVID.

Q: What is your name, and where do you work?

A: My name is Julian Smith II. I just started my first travel nurse assignment at Stanford.

Q: What made you decide to be a nurse?

A: I became a nurse because when I was looking at the different entities, I wanted to figure out how I can be closest to the patients. As a nurse, you’re basically there every step of the way. You're there in good times, bad times, rough times, and you're basically there in the most intimate part of somebody's life. For me,I just wanted to be there and just be, hopefully, a beacon of hope, showing some tough love and being a strong support system to whoever is in a hospital.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?

A: Previously, I worked 7 to 7, so either 7AM to 7PM or 7PM to 7AM. I rotated for a long time, and most of the time, you see either the ratio being 2:1 or I would be the charge nurse. Basically, the whole floor was mine. I would deal with the whole floor, and just kind of help put out fires and be a resource to all the staff and the patients in whatever way was necessary. When I started as a bedside nurse, my day was focused on trying to make sure all the tasks were completed. But as I became more experienced, I learned how to partner that with making the patient the center of my care. This past year specifically, it’s been all about really keeping people alive through COVID-19.. We’ve been fighting COVID every day. Nothing else but COVID.

Q: What do you wish that people outside of healthcare knew/understood about nurses?

A: I wish people knew how much it takes out of nurses to show up every day and give 110%, your *personal* self. I can't just give the patient some meds and walk out the door. I have to care about what's going on with you, your family and loved ones. And if they’re not there, I have to take on that role. There's so much more than just giving out meds and filling out paperwork. Sometimes, I'm emotionally exhausted. I’m fatigued. And I think people skip over that because taglines like "Healthcare Heroes Work Here” exist. It's nice, but for me personally, there was no tangible thing that was helping me fill my cup. As a nurse, your cup always needs to be filled so you can fill up somebody else's cup. I hope that more people can realize the immense amount of giving we do as nurses. It's hard to give 110% continuously, but we do it because we care.

Here’s a prime example: if you have a patient in an emergency situation and they code and die in the middle of your shift, you'll get another patient in a matter of minutes. Or you'll have two other people or another person who needs your support right now. As nurses, we don't have time to grieve; we don't have time to wait; we don't have time to get a breath of fresh air. We’re constantly on the go. One of my last patients died after I spent my whole shift with him, and I had to move on to the next patient immediately after. But I was literally in the room crying because he was my patient. I think people just skip over that part of nursing.

Q: What do you think your superpower is?

A: My superpower is reading the room. I'm pretty good at finding that one thing that you're trying to hide so we can connect on that. That's something that I've always been good at since I was a kid. When I get patients freaking out or being crazy, I can figure out that one thing that we can share. Like, "You see me, I see you, let's do this — together.” Then we can build from there. So I think that's something that's kind of saved me in plenty of pickles in my career so far.

Q: Can you tell us about a moment or story that reminds you why you love being a nurse?

A: I precepted a young lady — she was great — and just poured out all the experiences that I had. To see her grow and see how the patients we were able to talk to her and how they were just appreciative of her presence. Then one day, she came to me and said, "You know, I'm like this because of you." I was like, 'Wow, what?' All of the things that I think that I struggle through just as a person, outside of nursing, and try to bring into nursing and try to have fresh or creative eyes that I try to impart into my patient care and try to give it to someone else. She actually took some of the advice and took some of the lessons, and applied it. And she was able to recognize that. That I helped her start her career as a nurse, so I was like, "You know what? This ain't bad! This ain't bad.

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