Working can be difficult. Depending on the job, many employees can feel physically and mentally exhausted after a full day’s shift. Although all professions are respected in their own ways, there are definitely some careers that don’t receive the credit that they deserve. One of these professions is nursing. Nursing is one of the many jobs where those who do it don’t receive enough credit for their demanding job. It seems as though many times nurses are used and abused and just expected to always be available, but many people don’t understand what goes on behind the scenes of a nurse’s daily checkup. To get a better understanding of this job, I asked a nurse to explain to me some of the more demanding parts of her job so that we can have a better understanding of why nurses deserve more credit for their work.
A lot of the time, nurses are very understaffed, and this leads to a small amount of nurses running around the entire hospital to tend to everyone that needs to be looked after. Think of working in a large, busy restaurant all by yourself; it would be impossible to serve everyone at the same time, yet nurses are somehow able to accomplish this. Are they superheroes or what?
2. Being a Support System
Need someone to explode all of your emotions on? Need someone to smile and tell you everyone is going to be alright? Need to sit down and vent all of your deepest concerns? Then a nurse is for you! Nurses are the best support system out there. From being your personal counsellor to someone that keeps you occupied, nurses do it all. No matter what they are dealing with themselves, nurses put their own lives on hold and spread a smile on their face in order to make sure their patients are happy, comfortable, and safe. Again, superheroes.
3. Long Hours
Aside from being understaffed, nurses tend to work extremely long hours. Often in the medical field, certain hospitals will staff their nurses for three or four 12 hours shifts a week, and while they get the rest of the week off, it can be difficult to stay positive and productive while working long hours.
4. Angry Patients/Families
A lot of the time, patients and their families will turn to nurses when they are angry because nurses are the ones that usually deal with them. Sometimes patients and families don’t agree with what a nurse is doing, but little do these people know, the nurse is just doing what the doctor told them to do. Nurses take on a lot of the heat that angry people have about the service at the hospital, but people need to remember that this isn’t their fault.
5. Juggling Patients
As stated before, people don’t realize how busy nurses are. Nurses are balancing multiple patients throughout a shift. Trust me, they are always busy. If you see a nurse sitting, it isn’t because they aren’t doing anything, but they are probably filling out paperwork or charting. Have patience with them because they are running the show by themselves.
6. Multiple Jobs
Another part of nursing is that sometimes they can feel like a waitress or servant. Not only do they work as a medical personal, but they also bring food for patients, watch children if the mother is busy, clean up after others, make the beds, stock the supplies, and many other jobs. Nurses literally do it all!
7. Holding the Hands of the Dying
Could you imagine spending some time out of your twelve-hour shift to hold a dying person’s hand? This is something that nurses do that people don’t realize. How mentally straining would it be to guide someone to their death? This is why I say that nurses are superheroes. I couldn’t imagine having the strength to do this and continue on with my day.
Although nurses tend to deal with a lot of negative parts of their job, they still go to work prepared with a smile on their face. Also, one thing that the nurse said to me while I interviewed her was that although there were these small negative aspects, she still loved her job no matter what. Nurses, although they deal with a lot, are truly strong, both mentally and physically. As the roles of nurses in their respective fields and industries have constantly changed over time as seen on this Infographic on the Modern School Nurse, it seems that nurses are still under appreciated so remember to appreciate your nurse because they go through a lot more than what you see, so don’t forget to show your appreciation by saying a simple “thank you” for their time. If you’re interested in becoming a nurse like many great people worldwide, check out companies like Day Webster who help recruit nurses.
Feature Image via screengrab from Scrubs.