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Friday, June 22, 2012

bursting your bubble about nursing


Dear John/Jane Q. Public:

I am about to burst your bubble about nursing. You know the profession that is most admired, comes up number one in those polls? Those angels of mercy, Mother Teresa types? The ones that soothe your fevered brow?

Guess what? Nursing is a job. Thats all it is. The difference between your job and my job is that there are sick people at my job. My job is no different than your job. I punch the clock in and out. I do whats necessary to the best of my ability.

Here's the thing: I did not have a "calling" to this job. Mostly I went for this job because of its flexibility, security and variety. I didn't have a deep yearning to help people. Thats just a nice side part.

I do this job to help support my family. If I won the lottery, would I keep doing the job? Hell no. I would be out of there in a heartbeat. I'll let you in on a secret, Mr./Mrs. Public, this is just a job to me. I didn't set out to help humanity. I am not Florence Nightengale. A lot of the time, the job sucks.

I can just hear some people saying: You obviously never should have become a nurse. Blah blah blah. People have this distorted image of nursing as these people who have a need to sacrifice themselves for others. We are these angels of mercy put on earth to serve humanity. Makes me laugh. We do the job, cash the check, go home to the family and try to forget about the job. So don't put your ridiculous expectations on us and then be disappointed that we are just people doing a job.

Sincerely,

madness the nurse

16 comments:

EDNurseasauras said...

Well said! It is A JOB. I may not rush into burning buildings (thank you to my brother the firefighter) but with all the crazies in the world the ER is not the safest place to work. At the end of the day, we all just want to be treated decently and go home to our families. Keep buying those lottery tickets. Before non-nurses pass judgement, walk a mile in my old fashioned white clinic shoes and white support hose.

*Off soapbox*.

Craig said...

Unfortunatly this needs to be addressed to some of our peers also.

nurse mcgee said...

My primary job is in a non-traditional specialty area. My patients aren't in this facility because they choose to be, and very rarely is improving their health high on their priority list. I'm not a miracle worker by any means--I'm there to weed out the bullshit.

I keep my per diem position(s) so that I don't lose my skills, and because the money is good. Don't get me wrong, I love my job and I'm a good nurse, but I took this career path for the same reasons you listed above. I never wanted to be a nurse when I grow up. It never even crossed my mind until I was well into my 20s and realized that my lot in life was to be some sort of caregiver and that if I went to school and got the degree, then I could get people to PAY ME to learn things every day.

Marissa said...

A-fucking-men.

I enjoy my job. I do. But it's not my dream, and I sure wouldn't do it without the pay.

Nurse Stella said...

Here, here!! Well said. And thank you for saying it. Sometimes I feel guilty because I think the same thing. I am good at what I do, and my patients get the care and compassion they need. But at the end of my work day, the stethescope comes off and I return to my number one priority: home and family.

Anonymous said...

I don't care why you are a nurse but thank you for being one. You guys take a lot of crap and take care of a lot of crappy patients but I just want to say that some of us appreciate what you do for us.

girlvet said...

thanks

Adam Gill said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I think people use this reasoning to paint us as some saintly figures who are able to take endless abuse (verbal, physical, employer). Just makes it easier to treat us like shit and expect us to take it.

Anonymous said...

Some nurses do feel like their job, though yes...a job...a way to pay the bills, IS a calling. I feel that way. This post belittles that. For you, it may not be a calling, but it is for some. This doesn't mean that those who feel it is a calling are better at their job...no way! BUT.. it is true that it is a way to a fulfilling life for some.

Anonymous said...

Do you consider yourself a blue collar worker or a professional? I think many nurses get the 2 confused.... There are pros and cons to both views ... How you view youself will impact whether you feel professional development is your own responsibility, how you present yourself to others, and the boundaries you set. No one can judge... We need both types. At different times in my carreer I was one or the other. . Our ability to be real is why the public trusts us. ... Even when we are saying .. Listen , it's just a job to me....

ilovestargate said...

I'm glad I'm not the only ER nurse, or nurse working on any unit, who feels this way. I didn't start nursing until I was 28 and I only went into it because I had another degree that I couldn't use and wound up sitting behind a damn desk all day making no money at all. I do try to have or show compassion, but when I have patients who spit, scratch, curse, or hit me, my "I really don't give a crap" switch gets flipped on. I totally agree with you and know where you're coming from.

Snarky RN said...

HOLY CRAP!! You basically summed up everything I've been feeling for the past 15 ++ years in those few perfectly worded paragraphs.....Thank you for making me feel normal......

Nicki said...

I am a Jane Public and have no problem with nursing being a job. Provided, that is, that you do your job with professionalism and pride.

I live in the UK and my last visit to A&E (the ED or ER) was because I had fallen and it was thought my hip was broken. After waiting an hour and a half, I needed to urinate ...desperately...I asked for assistance and was told "I'll be back in a minute"...10 minutes later I asked again "I'll tell your nurse"....about 5 minutes went by and I shouted "If someone doesn't help me I'm going to wet the bed"...The charge nurse came over and threatened to throw me out of the department without having been seen or treated because "I was making a nuisance of myself" and "shouting at the staff".

I don't expect my brow to be mopped, nor to be waited on if I'm capable of doing the stuff myself but with a suspected broken hip, it wasn't sensible for me to jump out of the bed and try to walk!

I don't have a problem with you doing a job and leaving it behind at the end of the shift...provided you DO the job whilst you're there!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Guess the next time I'm sweating, have pain in my arm and chest and have difficulty breathing I'll just ride it out.

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