I argue with myself daily. I feel guilty. I am angry. I am sad. I am hurt. These are the emotions that nursing provokes in me.
I get so angry sometimes about how hard my job is. Its so exhausting. I have a job in which I come home physically exhausted a lot of days. My back is usually sore. My feet hurt. Silly me, like the rest of my co workers I work 12 hour shifts with the idea I don't have to be there as often, but I exhaust myself in the process. Of course, its gets harder the older I get.
I get angry at the way people treat us. Sometimes it seems people walk through the entrance and it is permission to act in any way they want. They can take all of problems and dysfunction out on us and they do.
I get angry at how powerless I often feel as a nurse. Powerless about the circumstances of my job. Powerless that everyone else seems to control it but me. I get angry that nurses are so exhausted that we don't take control of our profession.
My job is such a sad one. Nobody is happy who comes into an emergency room. They are there because of a problem. Usually they are in pain. They are anxious and stressed. Some are truly suffering. Many live lives of dysfunction, going from one crisis to another. Every day I see people living pathetic lives of drug addiction, mental illness, homelessness. I have seen people walk in the door and be dead within an hour of arrival. I have seen 99 year olds resusitated and 20 year olds die. I hear families cry at the loss of loved ones.
Under all the anger is hurt, an emotion we rarely admit to ourselves as nurses. We are hurt because we really do the best we can under tremendously stressful circumstances. We try our best and yet it never seems enough. Most days we go home wishing we could have just done the basics, knowing we failed, knowing it would be impossible for anyone to do all we are supposed to do.
I feel guilty a lot. Guilty that I often feel like I don't like people very much. Guilty that I have become so judgemental. Guilty that I don't have more empathy. Guilty that I am often a cynical bitch.
In the end, I am just human.