Dear ED,RN-I too agree with the majority that nurses are grossly underpaid and overworked. I worked "sick" for 4 days because of the call-off policy..this would have given me a bad mark. (I have gotten every flu bug and bout of bronchitis in the last year that went around...no joke). You get penalized for calling off sick but the administration tells you that you are doing your patients an injustice by coming in ill! Sound a little familiar??? Maybe if we were given better staffing and pay, we could afford physically & financially afford to take better care of ourselves and hence take better care of our patients! Too simple of a concept though...they keep trying to get the last ounce of work from you for a few mere dollars. For the responsibilities that we nurses have, our base salaries should be AT LEAST double from where they currently stand. I love my husband dearly (he's a sheetmetal worker) but when he comes home and I look at his checks...HE'S NOT responsible for people's lives and he makes almost $10 an hour cash more an hour AND benefits, shoes, etc! And yes, ED,RN..my husband gets tired of listening to my complaining too. By the way, I WAS a 911 dispatcher and I most definitely got cursed at, yelled at and screamed at (not puked on though!) by citizens AND police officers, BUT sure didn't get better pay than nurses. You are also responsible for others lives, just in a different context. Instead of dealing with folks face to face, you directed them on how to save someone from bleeding to death after getting shot or do CPR after being instructed on the telephone of the procedures! I started in 1979 and worked at it for 8 years and came out making about $6.50 an hour. This was for a fair-sized city of 100,000 folks too. It is probably better now, but I would not trade my profession now for anything in the world. We just all have to keep standing up for our beliefs and fight for what we are worth...which is a lot more than I have been seeing on my paycheck lately!!