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Hufsah Akbar

What is your previous background/degree?
Associates Degree. This is my first bachelor’s I am working towards. 

What led you to choose nursing?
I never thought I would be doing nursing. I was always interested in medicine and the healthcare profession, but didn't know exactly what I wanted to do. During that time I had lost many family members and a friend to cancer which turned my life upside down. For the first time in my life, I was put in a very helpless position by seeing my loved ones suffer and there was nothing I could physically do about it, but watch. It was not until witnessing the role of a nurse, the trust that society puts in this profession and the immense amount of responsibility they have to carry about on not just one, but sometimes up to 8 patients at once. But what really stood out to me was the compassion, self-less acts of kindness and time they gave their patients. It was that moment that I fell in love with the nursing profession.  Nursing empowered me into thinking that if I could save one life or make one person’s day a little bit better, I will feel good knowing that my loved ones and friend didn't die in vain. 

What would be your dream job?
My clinical experiences thus far on the different floors providing care for the patients has been both enjoyable and informative, however, I have always been fascinated with the high intensity, rush sensation and excitement that the medical world has to offer. Much of this feeling has come from my favorite pastime show ER. That being said, working in the ER department or in an ICU particularly the one downtown at Barnes-Jewish Hospital would definitely be a dream job for me due to the large diverse population that come through those doors every day. 

What is the one thing that you have especially loved about nursing school, and what is the one thing that has been challenging for you?
One thing I have loved about nursing school is the sense of pride my school has for the nursing profession. Seeing the pride in their eyes and hearing real life experiences from our highly qualified and knowledgeable professors keeps me coming back for more. If there was another driving force that led me towards this profession it would be society. The stigma that unfortunately continues to be seen in our society regarding nurses such as “janitorial workers,” “illiterate”, “doctor’s pet” just to name a few. I intend to use this negativity to my benefit as a driving force to push myself to become a great nurse one day by showering light and positivity on this profession and hopefully changing society’s ignorance one patient at a time. Besides endless hours spent studying, making sure the grades are up or being one of the youngest person in the program, one thing that has been a challenge for me that my family and friends will strongly agree with is not being able to find time for them. But all I have to say to that is even superman doesn't take a day off. :) 

What do you like to do in your "free" time?
Free time?! What free time? What is free time? What does that even mean? Haha. That is one of the sad realities of nursing school; you will rarely have free time. But on a serious note it is very important that you do, because if you take care of yourself you will be able to take care of others. So take the opportunity to de-stress and socialize with humans and not books for once. When I do have free time I like to spend majority of it with family, friends and really good food.