THE GLEANER, WEDNESDAY, MAY 12, 2021 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | E3 INTERNATIONAL NURSES’ DAY 2021 FEATURE M YNAME is IngaHunter-Martin, a specialist nurse at The Hope Institute Hospital since 2007. I did not choose nursing. Nursing chose me. All my years growing up, all I wanted was to be an officer in the Jamaica Defence Force. My mother, however, being faint of heart, begged me not to go in the army as she was afraid I would die. She then persuaded me to enter nursing instead as she always thought I had the heart and compassion to be a nurse. After much deliberation, I applied to the Kingston School of Nursing, and as God would have it, I was accepted, and the rest is history. Throughout training and into employment, the nursing profession grew on me so much that now, I cannot see myself as anything but a nurse. My desire to care and help others motivates me daily. I have had good and bad experiences. What stands out the most for me is my ability to be that source of hope to patients with the ‘dreaded’ cancer diagnosis. The ability to be able to make a patient smile in the midst of debilitating pain and discomfort, the ability to be the go-to person for information regarding treatment and to be able to give this information in a language the patient is able to understand, the ability to be the hand to hold when death is imminent are just a few of the small things that make nursing worthwhile for me. On the contrary, my weakest moment in nursing is to watch a patient transition through the different phases of cancer, namely curative, palliative, and ultimately, terminal care, and eventually, death. Working in a terminal-care facility has equipped me with the requisite skills to cope in this pandemic. Additionally, I have not been exposed to many positive cases of COVID- 19, however, with my knowledge of providing care using universal precautions for all patients, I was able to cope well with caring for the few patients I have encountered. I t a k e t h i s opportunity to encourage my colleagues and persons interested in entering the nursing profession to have an active conscience and a caring heart. Make a conscious effort to offer care to others that you would want for yourself and family. Registered nurse/midwife – Hope Institute INGA HUNTER-MARTIN “ I take this opportunity to encourage my colleagues and persons interested in entering the nursing profession to have an active conscience and a caring heart. Make a conscious effort to offer care to others that you would want for yourself and family.