lay people think they know.........

Nurses General Nursing


My boyfriend was comparing his computer network job to nursing. He said he had to work 12 hour days 5-6 days per week and doesn't see why a nurse would have much difficulty in working those hours as well!!

This upset me! What do you think?

Your Boyfriend probably makes more money then a nurse and doesn't rotate shifts. He also does not hold anyone's life in his hands. He doesn't have to lift anything over about 50lbs, change linen, clean up emesis, feces, urine.... I don't know... maybe it is just me, but I don't see the comparison at all. Most people think computer people are smart and we nurses have to fight to make them understand that we chose to do nursing and we are smart and could have chosen any other career. The docs arent the only "smart" ones.

my 2 cents.


Specializes in Home Health.

I'm with you Lisa & Bessie! Does your boyfriend do his job standing up all day? Does he not get to eat or relive himself all day? Is he at risk for exposure to HIV, Hepatitis, TB, etc all day?

I would tell him, yeah, those hours aren't day, when you get to sit on your a$$ all day!! ;)

You guys are right, he does not have the human life in his hands.......and when I mentioned this, he mocks back, "yah yah......I know, I dont work the human life".

Then he quickly changes the subject. He takes a 1 1/2 hour lunch and gets to work out and take a shower! But that's OK. We healthcare professionals receive daily if not hourly "thank you's" from other human beings and that in itself is very rewarding.

I hear you!

What really gets me is when someone says: "How hard can it be to empty bedpans all day" !!!!!! :mad:


They just don't get it. In fact sometimes I have found it hard to verbalize to the lay people exactly what we do...why we do it....and what it would take to fix it......

I'd just say "the chew us up and spit us out day in and day out."

Tell your boyfriend to do his job standing up all day, never sitting down for more than 5 minutes at a time. And instead of having one computer, he has to run between 10-15 at the same time. And if he finds he needs to pee, tell him to hold it at least 2 hours. And if he gets hungry, tough, tell him to wait till he gets home. I was married to a man with this same sort of attitude. He worked skilled trade at GM. He always told me that his job was more important than mine because he "brought home the most money." So I told him the next time he was passing a kidney stone to call an auto mechanic. People outside of our profession don't have a clue to what we really do. We sacrific to give the care we give, often times putting our own health at risk. Machinery is not human lives and they do not have the urgency so while he may be an educated man, he's not a very smart one. How can one look at a piece of equipment and even begin to compare it to what we do????

What are you doing with this guy? He's competitive and disrespectful. He argues from a stance of ignorance, which doesn't work well in long-term relationships. My opinion, of course, but it shouldn't even be an issue.

He should at least give respect to the job you do and not act as he does. I used to be married to a man who thought his job was so much better than mine(this was when I was a waitress) and he worked at a radio station. He always said he was more tired because his job was mental and I shouldn't be so wore out..hello I waited on people for tips....attitudes like that will cause a marriage to fail and I think you should take a look at the relationship...this will be a problem for you two....

Had a very good friend of mine say something last night that just tickled me. He told me that he thought he might understand how I feel sometimes when I get home from work. I laughed and said how is that? He had worked a fifteen hour day(voluntarily) been on his feet basicly the whole day and was moving extremely heavy things from one place to another. His feet hurt, his back hurt, he was dead tired. I asked him if he had been able to go to the bathroom when he needed to, well of course. Asked him if he had been able to take a lunch break. Of course. Asked him if he could have decided not to do the long day, again of course. As well as several other questions that we know other jobs just don't have to deal with. He of course, knew what I was driving at. He looked at me and smiled a huge smile and said, yea, but now at least I know how achy your body can feel at the end of the day and it feels BAD! What tickled me was that he was trying to understand how I feel sometimes, that he hears what I say and I think gets it. Without being a nurse you can't get it all the way, but it was nice to have him try. If your boyfriend can try to understand and LISTEN to what you are saying, not just hearing it, than maybe all will be well. Hope a little more respect comes your way.

Hmmmm....I must say, my first instinct was right on with Mustangsheba's when I read this. He sounds like a world class jerk.

HOWEVER, I husband is an electrical engineer, and I have spent LOTS of time trying to 'make him understand.' He does, kind of. At least he tries to be sympathetic (of course, right now he can't understand why I'm still tired after working the shift from H*** last night and sleeping 7 hours today). One thing I've done, I MADE my husband watch those TLC 'Life in the ER' and 'Hospital' shows, and said, 'okay, WATCH THE NURSE, and keep in mind, she's got several other patients JUST LIKE THE ONE they're featuring.' That has helped somewhat.

Look, if the guy's a jerk (which he sounds like offense), he isn't GOING to understand. Even if he's hospitalized. He'll just be that patient we all hate who thinks they're the only one there while you run your b*** off. Most lay people never WILL 'understand,' but sympathy and listening goes a long way with me.

Just my $0.02.

Specializes in CV-ICU.

I'm right with Mustangsheba on this also. But I 've got to tell you that I just found out that even my own son (who's almost 22) doesn't "get" it. In the past 2 weeks since the strike vote was in, I jokingly asked him if there was an opening at Taco John's (where he's a manager). I asked if we went on strike if I could work there if I wanted. He said sure, "but this is hard work!" I said to him "what do you think nursing is?" He said "no, Mom, this is REALLY HARD work!" This from a kid who saw his mom work all sorts of off shifts all of his life; who came into the hospital with his Dad with holiday treats every holiday I worked over the years; who saw me at work both on and off the job, who has seen me with work-related injuries through the years; who has heard me re-hash my work shifts at least 10,000 times in his lifetime! I am speechless that he doesn't understand that nursing is hard work too! I may HAVE to work at Taco Johns just to see what hard work is. ;)

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