Nurses Learn the Deeper Secrets in life through their Patients

by Angela Brooks

Walking in the doors for the very first time as a 23 year old small framed female stacked with attitude, She had no idea what the mental ill were about to start teaching her. She was there for a paycheck, not a retiring career.

That young girl was freshly divorced, and bouncing into another relationship that would take her down a emotional roller coaster at high speeds. With her shoulders held back, chin up, a huge chip on her shoulder – there was no one going to make her cry…or break. Life was a heavy brick and she was going to carry it by herself as she took care of people who had much more following them than heavy shoulders.

With each patient a nurse comes in contact with there is something to learn. Even if the patient is hostile and bitter, observation is a learning tool in this field. Over many years of listening to the pain that comes with a patients admission – you hear the stories of how someone mental, and physically abused them. How they coped with many areas of their life with pills, booze, IV drugs, and a crowd of people who allowed them to wallow in their own stuff.    

As the care taker – the patients think that you have your life all together and you have no idea how they feel because you have a perfect life. What they do not know…a lot of nurses are hanging on to their own sanity with their toes gripping tightly to the edge.

In a profession where you are listed as the safe person and are suppose to be the one that comforts the patient – sometimes the patient gives the nurse comfort with their story and it soften the blow of their own life.

Divorced, angry, bitter, rejected by family, the roller coaster ride seemed like it would be fun until it started climbing the big hill at the end. You know the one when you hold your hands up in the air and as it tips the very top of the ride you feel your stomach fall out from under you and you cannot even scream. The wind is blowing in your face with great force, you are pushed down in your seat from the pressure and your head is shaking back in forth against the seat. You cannot move because it will not let you – you’re frozen. Then it levels out and the ride comes to a screeching halt. It is time to get off.

You hair is blown – your almost short of breath and your knees take a second to get back under your legs as you take a step. Life is like that – you’re battered and bruised – shaken and stirred.  Then you have to take a step. Your belief is low because you experienced the ride. You remember the pressure that caused you to stay in your seat and you could not fight it so you didn’t. Then the seat gets comfortable and it becomes easier to stay seated and locked down than it does to push through the bar that will release you. You also know that if you do not lift the bar – the ride continues. If you do not get off and take that step you continue riding the hills that keep you breathless.

Mental Illness is like that…a ride they cannot get off of. It levels out, and then climbs the hill; they fall off the top and end up locked down once again.  My life was bitter and painful, not all someone else’s fault, still empty and rejected. However, I was able to raise the bar and take a step, no I ran to the exit and left the amusement park life behind.

After a total of 25 years in the nursing field feeling burnt out and exhausted I once again start stepping toward something better. Leaving the bedside nursing, for the nursepreneur who can reach many more lives than the ones that walk into an admission door.

I had a choice to go back to college and further my education in the nursing field; or stretch myself beyond the traditional schooling and hire a business coach who could show me how to take nursing online.

After spending 21.5 years working on the floor as a staff nurse – I upgraded positions to education and training on day shift teaching new nurses and nursing assistance. That position has come with many rewards. Still there was something missing.

I joined a business minded team learning the skills of using social media, blogging, guest writing, interviews, becoming an author,  a mom on the move packing lunches and working a full time job, how using a smart phone on the go while attending my sons sporting events. It is not easy – but it is a goal that I want to reach. Speaking to other burnt -out nurses, who are searching for more than just bedside nursing – the ones that still have a passion to help other people without working 12 hour shifts, weekends and holidays.

I have worked with so many nurses that are burnt out but do not feel they have any choices left. They have house payments, car payments, children to raise – they work in jobs they hate under conditions that are wearing them out physically and mentally. Their dreams and talents have been pushed down until they do not even recognize their own dreams.

As a nurse I have spent my whole career handing out medication that help the body in one way and damage it in another. I am not against medication, but wonder if the world could be offered natural health with rich supplements that the body craved. What’s true about the foods we eat is also true about our nutritional supplements.

I am not a person who wants to have house parties or sit on the phone talking to bad leads who really want a free iPod. I want to work business online in 20 hours a week or less.

Have you ever tried to build a business online and found one brick wall after another? I did too. I know what a knot those bricks will leave on your forehead after you have pounded your headed into them a few times.


Angela Brooks is the author of her best seller "The Nurses Voice", and is a contributor to the nursing magazines "Scrubs Magazine" and "". She is also a marketing leader for growing Health Company whose mission is to inspire individuals to lives of wellness, purpose, and abundance! She is the founder of, a company dedicated to helping empower nurses who works in the mental health field. Not just for nurses – but those that nurse others in life. She is the nurses voice, the voice for those unheard.



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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous November 14, 2011 at 6:55 am

Whatever kind of hospital we visit, Angela, our immediate focus is on ourselves (as patients) or on our loved ones.  We’re almost all guilty of this.  Thank you for putting a “heart and soul” face to the nurses who make the valuable care possible.  (And for giving nurses a financial Plan B when they need one!)

2 Michele M Tremblay November 14, 2011 at 7:02 am

Congratualtions on your success. Helping other nurses is such an admirable goal. They bear the burden in so many areas of their lives. Working with patients, no matter what type of nurse , no matter what type of hospital, has to be draining. A nurse’s loving nature leads them to this noble profession and leaves them vulnerable to over work and burn out. How lucky for them to have someone like you to look to for help and guidance!

3 Drpeggy November 14, 2011 at 8:23 am

As a health care provider, I totally resonate with this story.  Many think that the roller coaster of life is not applicable to those people who take care of them….but we have all taken a ride from time to time. 🙂  

I think that those ups and downs are what help us really empathize with the people we are helping.  Great article Angela!  

4 Denny Hagel November 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm

You are an inspiration Angela!:)

5 Carla J Gardiner November 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Good job Angela for believing in yourself and your dream enough to push through the crap. The hopelessness doesn’t stop with nurses, many other occupations out there need help too. In this economy those building part time businesses need to share with everyone to give them hope; hope for a better tomorrow if they too are willing to learn, try and grow.

6 Jennifer Bennett November 15, 2011 at 9:14 am

Great article Angela. You truly are an inspiration to us all! 

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