Practice Makes Better

We’ve all heard the phrase “practice makes perfect,” but really?  We know it doesn’t.  I wish there were more of a ring to “practice makes better,” because in all reality, that is the truth.  We get better the more we do something.  We never truly attain perfection.

When I commit to something, I give it my all.  When I chose to walk down the aisle and marry my best friend at eighteen years old, I did with a “no backdoor” mentality.  I was committing my life to that young man rain or shine.

When I chose to bring a life into this world and become a mother, I did it with reverence and honor.  I pray for the Lord to grant me wisdom and patience, knowledge and discernment in forming and molding the precious lives He has placed in my care.

When I responded to the call placed on my life to become a nurse, I did it with dedication, giving only my best in my studies and clinical experiences.  This continues on in my professional development.  I desire to work full time to gain the experience I need in becoming a better nurse.  I joined a professional organization to have resources for research and up-to-date information. And I am intentional in building relationships with co-workers who I admire; knowing that their mentorship will yield great results for my tiny patients.

Some tell me this desire to be all that I can be will pass, but I know deep within my soul that it won’t.  I never started any of this as an ego trip or emotional high.  The time I spend in my life is all because I’ve been called to do what I do- as a wife, as a mom, as a nurse.

This isn’t to say that everything has gone smoothly.  No.  There have been days that my husband and I have slammed doors, and days that I have screamed at my children.  There have been days that I didn’t feel I was good at anything I touched.  But it never meant that I wasn’t doing what the Lord wanted me to do.  And I had to remind myself of that just a few months ago.

I was taking care of a baby who had an IV running in the saphenous.  The leg started looking puffy, so I stopped the fluid and began to investigate other sites to start an IV.  This baby had some anomalies, so it was difficult to find a good vein.  I enlisted help, and after five tries, we finally got one.  It flushed sluggishly.  In the grand scheme of things this baby needed a PICC, but my night shift resources were limited, so I was encouraged to use it and keep a close watch on it.

With all diligence, I cared for that IV site, but during my time spent drawing morning labs on the other two babies I was caring for, this baby’s IV infiltrated and left an IV burn.  Despite hyaluronidase injections, this baby ended up with a wound that eventually required surgical depridement.

I hold myself completely responsible for that incident, and it continues to break my heart.  I feel that my little patient paid the price for having an inexperienced nurse.  Looking back, I wish that I would have refused to use that IV.  I wish that I would have demanded we do something different, because in the end, the nurse practitioner decided to just discontinue the fluids saying the infant was getting enough via tube feedings.

This situation undoubtedly made me re-evaluate my career as a nurse. It made me question if I heard correctly from the Lord.  And as great as my God is, He used people to speak words of healing and encouragement to my heart.  One of those was my manager who communicated to me that it was my lack of experience telling me this is was my fault.  That the more experience I get the more I will realize these things happen.  Her taking time to speak those words reminded me of Proverbs 11:25, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

As much as I intend for that situation to never happen again, I know that others may.  I know that regardless of how much experience I get that I will never be perfect, but I’ll do everything within me to do better and to continue everyday doing better.

Joyce Meyer said, “God’s as interested in the process of a vision as He is in the end result.”  So even in those days that we don’t feel like we’re doing anything well, know that He is at work.  Know that He is making everything better, even us!

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3 thoughts on “Practice Makes Better

  1. Dear Heather,
    Can I even imagine your emotions during that event? No, but I do empathize w/your vulnerabiliy at a new task in your career. Another saying is “You only learn by doing.”
    If we gave up every time we got too close to the edge, think how few on us would still be persistently engaged in working to make a difference. My heart swells with joy that you continue to follow Christ’s bidding, even when the personal cost is a bruised heart. Love & Prayers.

  2. My goodness, what encouragement you give! We need a whole world of people with your attitude and character. I am very proud of how you have chosen to walk with the Lord so close to you. It takes others, including me, a long time to get to where you are. You will have many, many more blessed days ahead!

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