Today is the 50th Anniversary of the day that President John F. Kennedy was shot.
Living in the DFW area, I have grown up with this history and have many times been on the street on which he was shot. This semester, I stepped foot in Parkland hospital for the first time and was able to stand on the site of Trauma 1 and the place where he was declared dead.
I would have to honestly say that it was JFK who began my desire to have a career in the medical field. How is that possible? I certainly wasn’t alive when he was shot…in fact my own father was a young toddler when that occurred and not even my mother was alive!
When I was about 6 or 7 my parents gave me the booklet that they had received from the Dallas memorial for JFK. In this booklet (which I still have) there were interviews and information about the day when JFK was shot. And pictures. Many many pictures, most of which I do believe are false, but it was these pictures that spurred my interest in the medical field. They were autopsy photos and descriptions of where the bullets had entered and exited the President’s body. And the descriptions were so full of medical jargon…none of which I understood. I poured over those gruesome pictures and was enthralled with the human body and what could happen to the human body in the span of 5 seconds that would cause death. And I looked up the words that I didn’t understand. And I remained so interested in the anatomy and the mysteries of the human body that from then on I knew I wanted to be involved somehow in medicine.
My interests have certainly evolved from that point…when I was younger I wanted to be a doctor or maybe even a coroner due to my love of the human body. But for me now I realize that there is so much more than the human body, diseases, and medicine. There is also the human spirit. And the human spirit is why I am so interested in and passionate about nursing. I still LOVE the human body and am interested in the tragedies that can occur with it (which is why I think I’m so interested in trauma/ER nursing), but I also really want to be involved in the soul and spirit of the patient and their family.
Call me weird if you must (it’s certainly true) but that is my origin story. And it all revolves around JFK’s death.