Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

I Pulled the Trigger Then I Wanted to Cry

gun-range-targetWriting a post right around Christmas about learning how to shoot a gun, weird, but I can say it because I’m the one who wrote it. I feel compelled to do a follow up because it was a first for me and some of the feelings I experienced were unexpected.

I loved the fact that this group “bonding experience” involved, no, demanded no dressing up. Anyone who came in heels and dangling jewelry would have been the recipient of some snickering. Going to the range meant that there were no worries about what to wear unless you were not in possession of a pair of jeans and sneakers.  And, it eliminated that thing that all us women do — that is, make quiet comparisons between our grooming aka “dressing up” skills.”

Meeting two educators, one anesthesiologist, and three other nurses, on a week night at 6:30 pm for a gun class was surreal to say the least. That feeling passed when I was standing in the booth, walls on each side, and a target twenty-five feet away. We were instructed on two guns; a revolver and a 22 semi-automatic.

I took in the much muffled sound of my coworkers several feet behind me and the white painted press wood on each side of me. The booth was similar to a voting booth. My target looked close. My instructor stood by while I put the bullets in the chamber. Over exaggerating my finger placement to ensure safety, I then took three breaths before pulling the trigger. When I did, I felt my heart beat a little more pronounced and I immediately put the gun down in front of me.

I wanted to cry and felt the urge to leave the gun there. I know what guns do and at that moment it didn’t feel like a “bonding” thing. I felt alone and scared.

 This is for fun.

 It’s just a new experience.

 People do actually have guns for safety.

People are dangerous, some more dangerous than guns.

My instructor came forward and reminded me to center the sights for a better chance of getting closer to a bullseye. Her words helped me refocus on an instinct I am familiar with, the desire to be good at what I am doing.

I got at least ten in the red center mark.

We all cheered each other on as we compared our paper targets in our hands and decided the next thing we should do is take a self-defense class together.

I like where this is going.

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The Family That Plays Together…

“Girls, do you think you’ll get the tree up by Friday?” The Director asked in the kindest way.

We kept stuffing papers into charts, filling out Universal Protocol sheets, and looking for H&P’s on the total joint cases for the next day. Partly out of embarrassment of not having it up and partly because, well, the charts had to be done, some of us avoided eye contact with her (I was one of them).

“We’ll do our best,” came from the nurse who stayed later than most of us quite frequently.

Ten minutes after she left, as we continued to work, a peer from surgery came around with her laptop.

“I’ve got five minutes then I need to get back.”

She hollered out for the spelling of peoples last names, repeated the date we were going, and reminded everyone how much it was going to cost.

We all had questions.

“Will they provide bullets?

“Will they have ear muffs? It’s going to be loud.”

“Can we keep our targets?”

We have bonded over food, people’s successes, people’s pains, and the pure craziness of life as a nurse.

It was certainly going to be different, a group outing to a gun range for a “first timers” lesson.

And we did get the Christmas tree up the next day 🙂

daisy-christmas-guns-advert

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