How Becoming a Nurse Continues to Shape Lives

Table Mesa recognizes the invaluable roles of our licensed professionals and in celebration of National Nurses Week, we want to acknowledge and appreciate our fellow nurses.

Being a nurse is not easy. Your role continuously shifts. You multitask all day. You support your patients both physically and emotionally. You aid in their recovery and in their end of life care. You do it all.

John Tanchuan is a professional nurse who was inspired to become a caregiver while growing up in the Philippines. Upon moving to the United States, he became a professional nurse and has touched countless lives while doing so.We spoke with him about his daily role, challenges he faces, and how being a nurse continues to shape his perspective on life.

Question: Why did you decide to be a nurse and how has this career shaped your values?

Answer: I’ve always wanted to be in the medical field, I remember seeing my uncle work as a doctor and took a liking to the field. Being a nurse has shaped my values in so many ways and reminded me constantly of how precious and short can life be.

Question: Did coming from a developing country like the Philippines influence your career choice?

Answer: Yes, many people from my country pursue a degree in healthcare, I believe it has something to do with the nurturing qualities we as Filipinos possess.

Question: Were there any pain points you dealt with while becoming a nurse?

Answer: Dealing with death was tough at first. With time I learned to cope with it and focused on the positives of death, thinking about the lack or the end of suffering for my patients has been a good way to let go and move on.

Question: How do your patients impact your life on a daily basis?

Answer: I generally work with the geriatric population, I decided to go that route because I realized being in touch with them was helping me become a more compassionate human being every day.

Question: What does a day in the life of John look like and what are your top priorities?

Answer: I function in between meds, charting, families, direct patient care and then more charting. With all the liabilities nowadays charting is a huge part of the everyday life of nurses. This is why my top priority is safety, I always make sure my patient’s life is valued and all the necessary precautions are taken care of to keep myself from making mistakes.

Question: What are the most stressful moments of your day and how do you get through them?

Answer: Dealing with emergency situations like unexpected patient decompensation is very challenging, I try to find ways to stay positive by smiling at them and focus myself on the fulfillment of saving a life.

One of the major pain points in my career is understanding and working around patients’ pain. Whether it is educating them on the fact that being pain-free is virtually impossible or being able to be there right at the time when pain meds are due during a very busy day is definitely difficult.

Question: Does being a nurse make you appreciate life more?

Answer: Yes! Life to me is priceless. As a nurse, I’ve learned that it’s important to always live your life to the fullest, enjoy every moment you have with family and friends and not to take anything for granted. Our life can be so short.

On the other hand, everyday patients reinforced my decision of becoming a nurse. I’m so privileged to be able to take care of so many amazing people.

Question: How do you feel when you leave work every day?

Answer: Tired but fulfilled. I get to make a difference in someone’s life and I feel satisfied because nursing gives you so many opportunities to make that happen.

Question: What has been your most rewarding experience as a nurse so far?

Answer: The Nursing Excellence in Patient Safety award was given to me for doing my due diligence every time and being able to save lives because of it.

Question: What would you tell women and men considering this career?

Answer: DO IT! It’s the most rewarding thing you will ever do and you’ll feel satisfied everyday as you give back to society.

Table Mesa would like to give a big thanks to John and all the nurses out there, hustling, grinding and saving lives every single day. Happy National Nurses Week!