The Ramblings of a Nurse

  1. 31

    Some people have callously accused us that we took up nursing for the money. I beg to disagree. Nursing, although it provides a steady income, requires more than the drive to earn money. It requires the dedication, patience and sacrifice. Being a nurse means missing out on family occasions and festivities. It means spending more time at the hospital than at home.

    The Ramblings of a Nurse

    "No man, not even a doctor, ever gives any other definition of what a nurse should be than this - 'devoted and obedient'. This definition would do just as well for a porter. It might even do for a horse. It would not do for a policeman" ~ Florence Nightingale

    It's 0200H; the hallways are deserted except for a few nurses checking up on their patients. It is quiet, except for the humming of the machines and faint rustling of the sheets as the sleeping patients toss about their beds. In this dead hour of the early morning, I cannot help but contemplate on the work which I have been blessed with.

    As I sit in the silence, waiting for the time when I have to get up and go on with my routine work, I can't help but wonder if this is really where I'm meant to be- if this is who I was supposed to be.

    Am I really destined to be a Nurse?

    I took up nursing in a conscious effort to ease my mother's suffering- she has been sick her whole life. When I started working, I saw for my self the horrors of disease and illness. I saw the struggle between life and death, between health and sickness. And what I saw was clearly etched in my memory.

    As I lost my mother to congestive heart failure, I began to lose my faith in my profession. Like a weary soldier in a war, I have begun to question my purpose of continuing with this path. I used to love my work; it gave me the sense of fulfillment every time I see an improvement in my patient's health status. I enjoyed every moment spent with providing help and care for my patients--I loved being a nurse.

    But nursing for me has taken up a different meaning since working in the Middle East. In a hospital setting or in any health care setting for that matter, nurses are the integral part of the health care team. They SHOULD work side by side with the doctors and other disciplines. But this is not the case!

    From what I have witnessed, the nurses are being treated as though they belong to the bottom level of the health care ladder. We have been called names, treated poorly by everyone- from patients to the doctors. We were accused of being careless and insensitive to the patients' needs.

    Our flaws have been magnified to gigantic degrees, but our virtues have been scoffed upon and belittled.

    We nurses have earned our degrees, worked hard for our diplomas, so please do NOT call us stupid. We may have committed some mistakes, but we are humans. We are sleep-deprived humans who usually work with empty stomachs, full bladders, aching legs, and fully dependent on caffeine to function effectively. We are just humans and not machines. We get tired and we get sick.

    Some people have callously accused us that we took up nursing for the money. I beg to disagree.

    Nursing, although it provides a steady income, requires more than the drive to earn money. It requires the dedication, patience and sacrifice. Being a nurse means missing out on family occasions and festivities. It means spending more time at the hospital than at home.

    If we were in it for the money, we would have looked for better paying jobs that doesn't require us to give up our precious time with our family. So please, stop telling us that money is all it takes to make us do our jobs better.

    Sara Moss-Wolfe said that: "Nurses are the few blessings of being ill." I wish someone would recognize this. I still love my job and I still harbor the hope that some day we will be treated better. We are the patients' advocate, but who is ours?
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 12, '15
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    BlueBow, maelstrom143, Kiwi Ali, and 28 others like this.
  2. Visit  kurisuchine08 profile page

    About kurisuchine08

    kurisuchine08 has '4' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'trauma, gen. surgery'. From 'middle east'; Joined Dec '05; Posts: 45; Likes: 163.

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    20 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  shelbias profile page
    7
    Very eloquently said! It is sad, however that there are some nurses who entered the profession because of the money and it shows. I'd like to think that they are a minority but like they say, it only takes one bad apple to spoil the entire basket.

    Cheers to all the hardworking nurses who are in it because they love the job!
    meowmeow80, kebrwn, DroogieRN, and 4 others like this.
  4. Visit  FATKAT profile page
    0
    "Some people have callously accused us that we took up nursing for the money. I beg to disagree. Nursing, although it provides a steady income, requires more than the drive to earn money. It requires the dedication, patience and sacrifice. Being a nurse means missing out on family occasions and festivities. It means spending more time at the hospital than at home."

    Hear, hear!! I work full time and work almost every holiday.
  5. Visit  Lionesse profile page
    1
    It takes a great deal of strength and determination to enter a field that requires so much work (from applications to classes to long hours) yet receives less respect than deserved to this day. Keep on keepin' on, you wonderful nurses that enjoy the positives of your profession!
    meintheUSA likes this.
  6. Visit  McLovin' profile page
    4
    This is so true.

    One doctor, out of frustration and humiliation, even accused me of being arrogant, just because I earn an income almost similar to his! Of course I kept my cool and gave him what he wanted. (And it turns out I was right and he was wrong...)
    meowmeow80, Equestrian, meintheUSA, and 1 other like this.
  7. Visit  pjlemley profile page
    20
    Can I ask you, given that we work like dogs, have people's lives in our hands, and often cannot even eat or pee, what is wrong with asking for more money? Or what is wrong with asking to have breaks and be able to pee? I see this as a particularly female problem--we are supposed to put up with all the crap, not be treated respectfully, and be paid peanuts in comparison to doctors, and yet, there are so many of you who write and say, "Oh, I hope they are not in the profession for the money." Well, of course not. But does excellent compensation for excellent clinical skills somehow make you less of a nurse? Give me a break--tell all the doctors they should be doing their jobs for the joy of it and not for money. Why do you think half of them--obviously so intellectually and emotionally ill-prepared for their jobs--entered the profession? Why do nurses always have to be charitable saints? I'm sick of the whole female "giving" paradigm.
    RNSC, pihlaja, dbscandy, and 17 others like this.
  8. Visit  kurisuchine08 profile page
    2
    thank you for reading. i know every nurse deserve better treatment from all healthcare providers and patients. i hope that they will realize this soon.
    pippi40 and meintheUSA like this.
  9. Visit  imintrouble profile page
    9
    Some MDs go into medicine because of the money.
    Some attorneys go into law because of the money.
    You could put "because of the money" behind any profession that pays very well.
    There is nothing wrong with wanting a job that pays well. Most of us don't have the luxury
    of doing a job just because we love it. I didn't become a nurse because of the money,
    but I also wouldn't do it for free. Or if my wages were slashed in half.
    I have no problem with co-workers who tell me they're nurses because of the money. As
    long as they are competent in their job performance.
  10. Visit  Julieann79 profile page
    1
    first of all, i want to say i'm very sorry about the loss of your mother. i can see how your faith would be tested after that. i think you chose your occupation-not for money, but to help people, especially a loved one such as your mom. nothing wrong with that at all. i am not a nurse, but i'm very interested in becoming a cna. i read the forums and i even signed up. i just find the forums interesting. but they are real life forums. i love reading about peoples individual experiences. i don't think you were ranting in your forum at all. i think you are right on. i think nurses do get treated badly. i've seen it myself in hospitals. i mean, i understand patients are in pain and are very uncomfortable so they may lash out at whomever is taking care of them. however, there is no excuse for anyone sick or not to call nurses "stupid". nothing against doctors, but the nurses know the patient better than the doctors do for the most part. doctors may think they are "god", but in reality we all know that isn't the case. without nurses...how well would the doctors function? they probably wouldn't function nearly as efficiently. that's a fact!
    i know you must get discouraged on a daily basis, but know you are not stupid and that you are making a difference in someone elses life. i always appreciate nurses. my friend has a shirt that says "nurses are here to save your ass-not kiss it". take that however you'd like. keep your chin up and keep on keeping on. i know it's easier said than done. good luck hun!
    FooFooBear likes this.
  11. Visit  kurisuchine08 profile page
    3
    Can I ask you, given that we work like dogs, have people's lives in our hands, and often cannot even eat or pee, what is wrong with asking for more money? Or what is wrong with asking to have breaks and be able to pee? I see this as a particularly female problem--we are supposed to put up with all the crap, not be treated respectfully, and be paid peanuts in comparison to doctors, and yet, there are so many of you who write and say, "Oh, I hope they are not in the profession for the money." Well, of course not. But does excellent compensation for excellent clinical skills somehow make you less of a nurse? Give me a break--tell all the doctors they should be doing their jobs for the joy of it and not for money. Why do you think half of them--obviously so intellectually and emotionally ill-prepared for their jobs--entered the profession? Why do nurses always have to be charitable saints? I'm sick of the whole female "giving" paradigm.

    ---- i'm not hypocritical enough to claim that caring for the sick is enough payment for all the sacrifices i've given. i DO want to be well compensated, there's nothing wrong with that. all i'm saying is that money is not the driving force behind my passion for work. it is not the reason why i work hard and try to give the best care. but this is how some patients and doctors see us. they think that because we get more salary than other professionals, that money is all that matters for us. they don't think that we really care about the patients'welfare at all. a patient once told me that all i'm after is his money. i proved him otherwise. and i'm proud to say that before he died, he took back all the rude words he said. when everyone left him, even his children, it was the same nurse who took care of him and looked after him, and made him comfortable i hisdeath bed when the doctors callously said: "he hd a long life, it is enough." his last words were, "thank God for Filipino nurses." i think that is more valuable than money.
  12. Visit  kurisuchine08 profile page
    0
    first of all, i want to say i'm very sorry about the loss of your mother. i can see how your faith would be tested after that. i think you chose your occupation-not for money, but to help people, especially a loved one such as your mom. nothing wrong with that at all. i am not a nurse, but i'm very interested in becoming a cna. i read the forums and i even signed up. i just find the forums interesting. but they are real life forums. i love reading about peoples individual experiences. i don't think you were ranting in your forum at all. i think you are right on. i think nurses do get treated badly. i've seen it myself in hospitals. i mean, i understand patients are in pain and are very uncomfortable so they may lash out at whomever is taking care of them. however, there is no excuse for anyone sick or not to call nurses "stupid". nothing against doctors, but the nurses know the patient better than the doctors do for the most part. doctors may think they are "god", but in reality we all know that isn't the case. without nurses...how well would the doctors function? they probably wouldn't function nearly as efficiently. that's a fact!
    i know you must get discouraged on a daily basis, but know you are not stupid and that you are making a difference in someone elses life. i always appreciate nurses. my friend has a shirt that says "nurses are here to save your ass-not kiss it". take that however you'd like. keep your chin up and keep on keeping on. i know it's easier said than done. good luck hun!


    --- i really am grateful that you appreciate us. thank you for your encouraging words. we need more people like you.
  13. Visit  applewhitern profile page
    1
    I agree that there is no reason why nurses should not be compensated well for the work they do. It seems that everything falls on the nurses; everything is blamed on the nurses. Other departments in the hospital environment make as much or more than nurses. I was shocked to find that an assistant physical therapist with 2 years education make more than most RN's with a BSN. It seems that every other department gets to take lunch breaks, etc., but not nurses! After 22 years in the field, ICU, I think that if we did not portray ourselves as these wonderful angels of mercy, willing to be degraded by doctors, administration, patients, etc., that we would be seen as the educated professionals we are. I remember when I first worked as a nurse, years ago, that we got a lot more respect from other departments, such as resp. therapy, than we do now. It used to be that the RN was right under the doctor. Not any more! As long as we put ourselves out there to be used and abused, we will be. I am not a burned-out nurse; I now only work part-time in a non-stressful job. But after seeing nursing for what it really is all these years, I think it is time for nurses to demand more respect, pay and prestige than we get. A friend of mine once said, "well, we're all nurses." She was not a nurse, but just assumed all it took was caring for people. No idea of the amount of education and sacrifices we make.
    cddbsn likes this.
  14. Visit  casper1 profile page
    2
    Nursing really does not honor long term commitments. Nurses who have worked years giving up Holidays and working weekend are not compensated with much more that new grads recieve. In most profession years of service working weekends and holidays would be appreciated and rewarded.
    scoochy and jellybean_1 like this.


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