The best job in the world.
Why I think I have the best job in the world.Lets be honest here. Nurses love to whinge. And to be fair, we do have a lot to whinge about.
Pay, for example. It took me four years of university to gain a nursing degree. In that same time I could have qualified in law, architecture or pharmacy, any of which would mean that I'd be on a pretty good income now, thirty years on.
The hours. Finishing at 11pm, back at 7am. Night duty- oh god, don't get me started. And when the majority of the population is sitting down to Christmas lunch, or whooping it up at midnight on New Year, where are we likely to be?
Interns. Year in, year out, that influx of baby doctors, many of whom actually believe that they know more than us about our patients. The ones who recognise us as a valuable resource are a delight, the others- a nightmare. Try educating someone who honestly believes that they have nothing to learn from you.
New graduate nurses. Every year, teaching them that nursing really is very simple, and boils down to very basic principles. Treat your patients the way you'd like someone you love to be treated. Make them laugh- a happy patient who trusts you and believes you like them is REALLY easy to nurse.
I could go on and on. Truly, if whinging were an Olympic sport, we'd all medal.
But here's the secret all that whinging conceals. (I'll probably be drummed out of the profession for revealing this).
I actually have the best job in the world. Seriously. At risk of my career, I'll tell you why.
Every single day I meet and have in-depth interactions with extraordinary people. Folk I would never meet in my day-to-day life outside work. Elderly people who have lived amazing lives through incredibly interesting times. Kids who have faced more in their short lives than you or I ever will. Teenagers who introduce me to new music and all the latest fashions and expressions. Mothers who give me great recipes. Folk from every country, culture, level of society and job. Other nurses who have THE funniest stories, none of which we could ever tell non-nurses.
And I meet my patients at a time in their lives when they have no interest in or energy for artifice or subterfuge. It's a bit hard to be worrying about your image, and others' opinion of you, when you're deathly ill, in pain, or frightened out of your wits. I meet them and get to know them in all the fullness of their characters and personalities. People who make me laugh to the point of incontinence, trust me with their darkest fears, or allow me the privilege of sharing their tears. Families, who sometimes appear rude or demanding, but are in reality just scared stiff and trying to cope with unbelievable stress. Who trust and accept me as a valued member of their special family team.
But all that's just the icing. Here's the best bit. Every single day, absolutely without fail, at least one person looks me in the eye and says a heartfelt "thank you". Just for doing my job! And I get to go home knowing that I made a difference. That's gold. Try getting that working in a bank.
I have been a Remote Area Nurse, specialising in trauma/emergency for 30 years.
Joined: Mar '11; Posts: 14; Likes: 68
Remote Area Nurse; from AU
Specialty: 30 year(s) of experience in EmergencyMar 16, '11I couldn't have said it better myself! I still feel that way. That doesn't mean that I don't have the same complaints and frustrations as everyone else. Much could be improved! We can be overcome with negativity. The patients make it all worth while with that "thank you". Thanks for sharing your joy in what you do.Mar 16, '11Quote from TorsadesDePointesRNwhinging = moaning, complaining, whiningWhat is whinging?Mar 16, '11I have never seen "whine" spelled that way. I looked it up and the added g is the British. Learn something new every day!Mar 16, '11Just to add to the conversation, Harry Potter lived in the town of "Little Whinging". I like the word whinging so much better than whining. Maybe because my mother always said it.Mar 16, '11Im sorry, but where I work, we dont have time to get to know our patients like that. I barely have time to pass their medications let alone time to find out what new music is out there.... I go to my job to work, not socialize.... Health care first, socialization last.
MAN I'M I COLD or what? Wonder how I got this way.... oh yea..... I became a Nurse.
hehehehMar 16, '11I think that's really sad that you feel like that Weebee. And I don't agree with classifying interactions with patients as socialising, its an important part of providing wholistic care. Every patient intervention is an opportunity for a significant interaction. Some of the most important things I've learned about my patients have been while showering, doing a dressing, taking blood or administering meds. Yes, we are all really busy, always, thats the nature of the beast, but my point was that, for me, the rewards make it all worthwhile. I really hope you can come to find those rewards, because working life would be miserable otherwise, I don't think I could do it.Mar 17, '11Quote from cherryames1949I agree. My whole life and the way I look at it have changed since I have become a nurse. Prior to nursing I worked in the travel industry. You cannot believe the people who would turn you in and go to your supervisor just because they didn't get the seat they wanted on a plane. Sad right? Something seems to change when you realize we will all pass someday and nobody is better than anybody. I feel so humbled by this career and I'm happy about it. I love all of you.I couldn't have said it better myself! I still feel that way. That doesn't mean that I don't have the same complaints and frustrations as everyone else. Much could be improved! We can be overcome with negativity. The patients make it all worth while with that "thank you". Thanks for sharing your joy in what you do.Mar 18, '11I have truly enjoyed reading your article.I like to tell my families and patient's the same thing. Who else in ths world gets a chance to meet someone that has seen, done, experienced, loved, committed, or even accomplished something I haven't. And yet they want to tell me about thier lives, experiences, crimes, regrets, hopes, dreams, worries, emotions, or their biggest fears. They may have only meet me for 20 minutes and start spilling the beans. I feel like who am I that I get to take care of this amazing and wonderful person. This is someone's mother, sister,aunt, wife, best friend, grandmother, companion, etc or their father, brother, uncle, best friend, lover, companion, grandfather, etc that I get the honor of caring for them at thier most vulnerable time. Or maybe their last minute of life. My job is by far the most AMAZING, WONDERFUL, and REWARDING career in the world. It is one of the amazing feeling to have someone say "thank you". I always say "No, thank you for the honor of allowing me to care for you /your loved one". I love my career!!!!
However, I don't like my pay! But the benefits (patient's and their families) out weights my pay!!Mar 23, '11I am glad that you have found your niche. But being able to communicate with people is not the exclusive domain of nurses. It belongs to anybody who takes the time to listen. Enjoy the rest of your career but dont forget to give some credit to other people.Mar 25, '11Thank you for reminding me why I got into this profession! I am a new nurse (relatively). I have been working 9 months with a plasma center surrounded with non-nurses and recently just fed up with non-patient care! I needed this fresh perspective though I know it's not all flowers and rainbows, it certainly is important to keep a strong positive attitude and care about what you do! Thank you for reminding me of that! Excellent work!
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