I was accepted into a program at Massachusetts General Hospital called the Hausman Fellowship. It's a unique program for minority nursing students where we practice and learn new skill sets under the supervision of nurse preceptors from various units and gain competency and confidence in practice through experience. It sounds like an amazing program, but the description doesn't do it justice. Or at least, I'm pretty sure it won't.
When I got the roster for my group, I was nervous and exhilarated to spot Vietnamese last names on the list. Nervous because I didn't want to be the worst in a group of young people who were probably smart, driven, and passionate. Exhilarated because I'd never met another Vietnamese nurse before.
As intimidated as I was and still am, I'm really excited to get to know this group of new friends more. I realize my intimidation stems from myself, for myself, and not so much for other people. Their successes and failures should never hinder my performance, and if it does, I should practice to never let it. The more important thing here, I think, is to realize I got what I asked for and to run with it and make full, meaningful use of it. I wanted a network of supportive peers, mentors, and coworkers when I first applied for this program. Seeing my friend go through it the year before to come out with several experienced colleagues who could help her through her journey as a nurse really inspired me to want and strive to have the same. Now that I'm in it and have met other Vietnamese nurses like me, I feel somewhat empowered and more natural in a field that isn't so foreign to me anymore. It's a new feeling, but I think I'll grow to like it.
Vietnamese or non-Vietnamese, the girls and one guy we have in our group all seem great. One can easily tell they're determined, but what I like so far is that they haven't forgotten how to remain friendly in an atmosphere that is today inundated with suffocating competition from people who you should be able to call your peers. It's a funny culture we have today. But, it's really refreshing. Not only to meet Vietnamese nursing students like me, but to know that an environment exists where I can practice and better myself in what I love without the strangle of selfishness or grades.
At our last meeting on Friday, I was supposed to go home and follow my original plan of working out and meeting up with Donald to hang out (we were going to this time). But then I realized I was being stupid; that I could run any day, really, but finding another opportunity to hang out with my Hausman group, my peers, would be much more complicated to arrange. Realistically, we don't know when the next time will be. So I squashed my hopes of running and we went shopping and got ice cream instead. I bought a cute black skirt with white polka dots and a red top at H&M and one of the girls bought a super cheap dress on sale. I even got the chance to check out another local cafe, whose theme was something resembling a modern wooden cottage you'd stop by on a retreat or snowboarding vacation. It was nice.
This week we start real work. I realize the importance of being invested in what you're doing in the current now, and intend on keep up with this for the next month or so.
Here's to new friends. And real peers.