I have spent most of my life as a salon owner, nearly 25 years! After arriving at a point in my life where I would need to have health insurance, I decided to go back to school and become a phlebotomist. It was something that had always been on my radar. I enrolled in a 9-week program and became a phlebotomist at our local hospital, third shift. I loved my job and working with the patients. I was called to every code, my first was quite traumatic for me. I had never seen CPR performed in person, only on TV! I couldn't believe how hard the staff worked to try to save the life of someone they didn't even know. I had to draw blood while squatting under a nurse who was standing on a step stool doing compressions. It was a very hard draw as our patient was very cold and clearly not coming back. I was using his hand, holding it with my left and sticking with my right. After the code was called off and our patient had passed, I rolled my little lab cart in my gray scrubs to the bathroom and sobbed like a baby. I called my Dad at 3 am. He is a retired firefighter paramedic. He told me I would get accustomed to it. I told him I didn't want to get accustomed to it. As I washed my tears away with cold water and tried to make myself presentable to finish my shift, I realized I was the last person to hold that patient’s hand as they left this world and their family behind. It was an honor. I looked up at myself in the mirror. It flooded over me like nothing I have ever felt. I heard it in my head.... "Mindi, you do not belong in gray scrubs, you belong in navy blue." The next day I called various nursing schools and was signed up by the end of the week!
I decided to attend Hondros College of Nursing for some very simple reasons. The first being I could jump right in, as a single mom time was of the essence. Knowing the program’s timeline and that I didn't need any prerequisites was another reason. I have never been the best student, but I knew with perseverance I could surely make this happen for myself and my son. I knew it would take time and dedication. Upon coming in to speak with staff about the program, everyone was friendly. I made the best choice for me.
My advice would be, make sure you have the time to dedicate! It is NOT easy. You should not be in nursing for the paycheck. When you get to your first class, look around you. Most likely, these will not be the people with whom you graduate. Some won’t be able to handle the commitment and workload, some will sail right on through easily, and others may repeat classes. It becomes your life as it should, we are learning to save lives. Your path is uniquely your own.
Mindi Golden is a student in the Practical Nursing program at our Fairborn campus.