Tuesday, October 11, 2011

the good, the bad and the ugly

I do a lot of thinking about nursing, not a surprise to anyone that reads this blog regularly....

Nursing is such a weird profession. When I was a nursing asst way back when, I swore I would never be one of them bedpan carrying nurses, but here I am. If you look at nursing intellectually it is a pretty cool job. It is interesting, challenging, rewarding. It is always changing. Not everyone can do it, particularly ER nursing. It is never dull. It really fits me to a T. I don't like routine. I like a challenge. I like the chaotic environment of the ER and function well there. It has variety. So sometimes I say to myself, cool. I'm glad I went for this job.

Then someone calls me a "fucking bitch!" and all of the above goes out the window. I ask myself why am I in a job that is as hard as this one? A lot of the time it feels thankless. It exhausts me physically, mentally, emotionally. It overwhelms me at times. Its too much responsibility for too little.

Now some nurses would say, oh when people thank me it makes it all worthwhile. Whatever. I suppose. That is somewhat important but not that much to me.

I would say what has kept me in nursing (ER nursing in particular) and what I will miss most is the challenge. Nursing is one of the most challenging jobs you can have. It challenges you intellectually because you are always learning something new. It challenges you as a person to be able to function in situations that are life or death and be able to do it. It forces you to handle anything from the very weird to the very scary and learn to deal with it. You never know what will walk through the door and that is both ominous and interesting.

Can you ever integrate the two sides of nursing: the good and the bad? I really don't think so. All you can do is take it day to day and do the best you can.


Nurse K said...

I've actually busted out stuff like, "Now, what would your grandma [or your daddy or your mom, etc.] say if she knew you just said that to a nurse?" to the "FU bitch"-type comments.

Sometimes people actually laugh and say 'oh, he'd have beat my ass' or similar.

Try it once, I'd recommend it. If not for the self-amusement of listening to their comeback.

If they say, "Oh, I'd never say that around my grandma!", then you comeback with "if you wouldn't say a word to your grandma, you shouldn't say it to me either, okay?"

Sometimes they just say, "My grandma would say FU bitch to you too if she was here!" and then you just laugh at them.

Isabelle P said...

@ Nurse K: Brilliant - I'll have to use that some time!
Sometimes it does feel like a thankless job though, but I always remind myself that I'm doing a job that changes lives and really makes a difference. Yes people saying 'thankyou' does mean a lot, but sometimes it's knowing that you just made the difference between someone walking out of hospital or, to put it a bit morbidly, being carried out.