Did you know we featured real medical professionals in our Classics campaign? Now we’re giving you the opportunity to learn more about each of these amazing individuals. Get to know Paris A.
First off, tell us a little bit about you.
I’ve lived in Los Angeles all my life. I’m a recently graduated and newly licensed Registered Nurse.
Why did you become a nurse?
I always wish I had some deeply rooted story for this question, but it just kind of called out to me. As a little girl, I think that I was always drawn to hospitals. I had a lot of admiration for the amazing things that took place there, and I sort of always viewed healthcare professionals as these real life superheroes. I knew for certain that the hospital was somewhere that I just had to be in some capacity.
As I got older, it started as research, then quickly developed into a passion to someday become a nurse. As I’ve come through nursing school now into being licensed, patient interaction for me has really felt more and more like a purpose.
We know “a day in the life of a nurse” is challenging. What’s propelling you forward? What’s your daily motivation?
What’s most important to me, I think, is that I really show up in a major way for my patients as someone they can depend on in a time of need. We often take for granted what it is to be of “good health” and to even be in a position to be of service to others who are possibly going through their darkest days. It’s back-breaking labor, sure. But to be that helping hand for someone who’s depending on you at their weakest point? For me, it’s just about not letting them down.
How would your classmates describe you?
I’ve definitely always been the more bubbly and upbeat spirit in the class. I crack jokes, and those who really get close to me learn about my crude sense of humor.
Beyond that, I would hope that any of them would also tell you I’m equally as reliable and compassionate, toward both them as my peers as toward my patients.
What advice would you give to an aspiring nurse?
- First and foremost, I think it’s important that we acknowledge that pursuing a career in nursing is hard. You need to hear that. Much more than that, however, I cannot stress to you enough how much it’s truly worth and how much it fills you up in your spirit.
- There will be bad days, and there will even be times where there are more bad days than there are good. But your good days, even few and far between, are what really make it all worth the hassle. There’s no comparison.
- I know it’s hard, but people need you and are so happy to have you. Keep pushing and keep going. It gets better with time.
What’s one piece of advice you’d hope someone would give you as you’re starting your medical career?
Be patient with yourself. I think often we get caught up in the destination so much that we forget to enjoy the ride for what it’s worth. We all have goals and aspirations, particularly in this field, because there’s so much potential for growth. Too frequently, we’re too hard on ourselves, forgetting that we too are human and require patience even with ourselves. Growth doesn’t happen overnight—and while in hindsight, it happens a lot more quickly than we originally thought. In the heat of the moment, we lose sight of what’s important. If you’re patient and present, it serves you better in the long run.
What’s something about the medical profession that they DON’T tell you when you’re in school? What surprised you the most?
There are some things that teachers, textbooks, YouTube videos and tutorials cannot teach. EXPERIENCE really makes all of the difference in making the things you’ve learned in school true to your own beautifully individualized nursing craft. Nothing I’ve ever learned in school quite makes sense as much until you’ve seen it in live action on a real patient with a plethora of other very real things going on.
When you’re in school, it’s easy to get caught up in the steps because you want to master it, and it’s new, so you’re nervous. But nursing is really an art in that, as routine as it may be sometimes, you’ve got to remember to put your heart in it. You cannot be an excellent nurse just living out of textbooks and steps. You have to make it real to you and real to your patient.
Going into the healthcare field, being of service to people, you get caught up in this idea that you’re going to touch so many lives and make a difference to others. What was most surprising to me was that sometimes it’s really your patients that make a difference in you. There will be days where your feet drag and your heart is in your throat like, “Ugh, I just don’t wanna be here today,” and for me, I swear those are the days where I leave filling the most inspired or fulfilled because a patient some way, somehow gave me something back in my spirit. It sounds crazy, I know. Like nursing cannot be all of these rainbows and butterflies—it’s not. But these feel-good feelings keep you going when you don’t have it in yourself.
How do you find balance with the demands of just starting in your career?
I think that it’s fully important to take care of yourself first and foremost. You cannot fill up anyone else’s cup if you are always empty. Sometimes it takes time to figure out what makes you feel replenished when you feel so consumed with the affairs of others. But nurses need to nurse themselves, also—otherwise, we’re not good for much of anything.
- For me, what this looks like these days is a whole lot of exercise and family time. That really restores me and keeps me in check.
- After a long day of talking to people, sometimes I like to take an hour to just not talk, to be still and fully decompress.
You’re one of our team members for our new Classics collection. What do you think about these scrubs?
The Classics collection is a modern take on the traditional scrubs we all know and love. While I love the new trends of scrubs with all of their own bells and whistles, the simplicity of this line keep it true to the roots of the scrubs I fell in love with as a little girl. They’re SUPER comfortable, soft and stretchy, so they move with you.
How did it feel being part of this campaign?
I LOVE this campaign. I think it’s very real and unlike anything I’ve seen before. The vision that Jaanuu had in picking out a culturally diverse group of real life healthcare professionals makes me feel so humbled and honored to be a part of it. While daunting at first, because obviously none of us are real models, the team at Jaanuu was at every turn with welcome faces, going above and beyond to make us feel comfortable. I’m really grateful for the opportunity.
Follow Paris: @parisrn_