Women in the Workforce Pt. 1

I was once asked to elaborate more on what I do for a living, and it got me thinking not only about my own job, but what it means to me to be a working wife. I hope to cover this topic with a few posts on this subject, but first I'll explain more about what I do.

I think I've said before that I work in cancer research. It sounds wonderfully complex and difficult, but I assure you, it's not very hard. My main focus is to consent patients for the protocols we have, as well as making sure the urine, blood, and tissue samples get to the lab and the computer. I'm also responsible for processing and freezing the samples should the person who normally processes be out. It's a rather low job on the totem pole, and I'm not doing a lot of bench work (so I won't be finding the gene that breaks the code!), but it is a fulfilling and rewarding job.

I get to be one of the faces of the research side of our department to many of our patients. I get to meet with them and talk to them, something I wouldn't be able to do if I was confined to a bench all day. Since I can put faces to the names I see on the paper, it makes my job so much more, well, human. These are real humans we are dealing with every day, not just a sample. These are real people who are hurting and have come to receive help after the dreadful diagnosis of cancer. I can't even imagine such a diagnosis myself. I think I would have trouble being a nurse, since they just have to detach themselves from their patients, or their jobs would become unbearable. I don't think I ever could do that (but I sure admire the nurses who do!). I feel for the patients too much. After talking with many of these patients, I shoot up a quick prayer for them. Many of them are facing horrible diagnoses, and prayer is all that I can do. Even though my job is not very significant on paper, I thoroughly enjoy what I do, and I love that I can make a contribution to help fight this horrible disease. And I know that this is where God wants me, right now.

Even though I love what I do, for me it is transient as I wait (although not always patiently!) to move on to the next stage of my life (Lord willing). I believe my true calling is to be a keeper of the home and mother. While I'm not a mother just yet, being a homemaker is something I'm cultivating when I'm not at work. In the next section, I hope to continue this theme and discuss how I balance work and home life.

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2 Comments:

  1. Lydia said...
    What a tremendous topic and undertaking for writing! I am greatly looking forward to this series. I also appreciated your thoughts about nurses vs. other health care workers such as yourself. (I guess you could be considered a health care worker in a round about way). :)

    In my job, usually the stress alone and sheer magnitude of responsibilities keeps me from feeling too attached to my patients. On the slower, more relaxing days I do try to take the time to talk more with them and get to know them a little bit. It seems this is more of a rare occurrence, but it is the sort of nurse I like being and the care I value being able to give.

    Would love to hear more about the human angle of your job, as well.
    Have a great week!
    Ashley said...
    I, too, look forward to your other posts on this topic!

    When we were growing up, we always said you'd be in cancer research. :-) Of course, we fully expected you to find the cure for cancer, but, well, you're helping the people find the cure, so that's important too.

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