he emergency department was quiet and empty as I walked toward the nurses’ station. A dozen butterflies fluttered and swirled inside my stomach.
“Ah, Nurse Harris,” said the charge nurse when I walked into the office, “this is Sister Martin. She’ll be taking you for your practical examination.” I glanced over at my examiner. Her white uniform was spotless and the starched cap seemed to gleam in the light. I swallowed hard. “Good evening, Sister.”
She smiled kindly and said, “Don’t be nervous. I’m sure you’ll do just fine.”
O, Lord, please let her be right! I prayed silently. This was my final exam after three years of nursing training—the big one. If I failed this . . .
“Since nothing’s happening here at present, I want you to set up Room 2 for a head injuries admission. When you’re finished, I’ll ask you some questions. Is that clear?”
I nodded dumbly. Then I ventured, “Do I actually set it up properly? I mean, do I open everything and hang the drip?” I didn’t want to waste IV fluids and other materials if I wasn’t meant to.
“Yes, Nurse. I want you to pretend that a patient will be here in 10 minutes.”
She watched quietly as I prepared the room. She wouldn’t have known I was praying the whole time. Lord, help me remember everything. Help me to glorify You in this exam. I wheeled the emergency trolley in and took a final glance around the room.
“I’ve finished,” I said, hoping with all my heart that I was.
This Is Not a Drill
At that moment we heard a sound that sent shivers shooting up my spine and back down to my toes. A car raced up the road, blasting its horn constantly. As it turned into the emergency entrance, my heart began to pound. “Father, be with us,” I prayed as I ran out to the ambulance entrance. “Help whoever it is that needs our care.”
A tall man leaped out of the driver’s seat, his face white and pinched. “Please, help me! My little girl’s been hit by a car.”
The girl lay in a crumpled heap on the back seat. I reached in and felt her pulse. It was weak and thready, but she was alive.
Something warm and sticky ran down my arms as I helped lift her onto the trolley.
Within minutes Room 2 became the scene of a life-and-death drama. Doctors snapped orders; Sister Martin administered drugs; I helped a doctor insert an IV line into the young girl’s veins. Everything was all there, ready for her. Thank You, God. Thank You. You knew she would need this. Save her life, Father. The prayers rose and fell in my heart as I cut away her sleeve.
Within half an hour, Nicky was rushed to the operating theatre, where the surgeons performed an emergency operation to release the blood hemorrhaging into her brain.
The emergency department became eerily quiet again. Sister Martin wiped the sweat from her brow and collapsed into a chair. I did the same. We looked at each other for a minute, then she smiled. “Well done, Nurse Harris. You passed.”
The next morning, I arrived at work to find that I had been transferred from Accident and Emergency to Intensive Care. I was given one patient to care for—a little girl with head injuries—Nicky. Beside the bed sat her mother, stroking her daughter’s small, white hand. She looked at me with bloodshot, worried eyes.
I felt such faith inside. “She’ll be all right,” I said. “Just wait and see.” I told her how the Lord had arranged for the room to be all set up, ready for her daughter.
The mother’s eyes filled with tears.
“Oh, Nurse!” she cried. “I told God last night that if He would save Nicky’s life, I’d give my heart to Him and serve Him the rest of my life.”
And she did. I was there the day Nicky opened her eyes and said, “Hello, Mummy.”
I heard her mother’s joyful prayer as she opened her heart to the love of Jesus. We became best friends.
I’ll never forget that night. It was the night I earned my stripes. But more important, it was the night God heard our prayers.
Rosie Boom lives in New Zealand and is an author, homeschooler, wife, and mother of six.