I think the worst "pre-nursing" job ever may have been my wife's. She was in the Army during the invasion of Iraq (2003 - 2004), and some of her experiences included:
* While waiting in Kuwait to invade, they were attacked with Scud missiles, one of which she saw destroyed by a Patriot missile battery right over their camp. Scuds were rumored to be armed with chemical weapons, so much of the time they were in full MOPP gear in the desert heat.
* During the run up to the North, they were constantly on the move, sleeping in holes in the ground or on the hoods of their vehicles. Four or five hours of sleep was a luxury.
* The "ladies' room" was the same as the "men's room" - a slit trench in the sand - no walls - you just "drop trou" and squat over the trench. Then they'd douse the whole thing with diesel fuel and burn it. You did NOT want to be downwind when they did that.
*Everywhere they went, they were in "full battle rattle", including body armor and carrying a weapon with a full ammo load-out. Daytime temps could reach 130 degrees (F), and there wasn't much shade to be found.
* Breakfast, lunch and dinner was MREs - "Meals Ready to Eat", sometimes referred to as "Meals Rejected by Ethiopians". If you had time to eat it.
* Water was trucked in, and it tasted like the truck, but they had to hydrate constantly in the dry desert heat. Kool-Aid was about the only thing that could kill the taste, so it was worth its weight in gold. I sent boxes of it every week. It almost became the unofficial currency of the war, and you could trade it for just about anything you needed. Four containers of Kool-Aid were worth a new set of tires for a Humvee.
* Showers were nonexistent for the first few months. Bathing, such as it was, was accomplished with baby wipes.
* Fine, gritty, powdery sand was everywhere, and it got into everything -- weapons, vehicles, gear and even working its way into underwear and parts of the body where sand is never welcome.
* Once they established a Forward Operating Base, they were hit with mortar or sniper fire about every night. Fortunately, the bad guys didn't get much training on how to aim the things. It was strictly "spray and pray", with Allah guiding the round to wherever he willed it to land. The only "casualty" was an unoccupied (thankfully) latrine. Some locals were employed to perform various tasks around the base, and they always wondered if the same guys who were working for them during the day were scouting targets and shooting at them at night.
* Way too many male soldiers subscribed to the theory that "What happens in Iraq, stays in Iraq", and were constantly hitting on all the females. Their efforts didn't work with my wife, but a couple of gals in her unit did have to go home early -- due to pregnancy.
* About once a month they could use a phone for a five minute "morale call" to phone home. It didn't help all that much and just made the homesickness a bit worse.
* Occasionally there would be a memorial service for people she knew who wouldn't be going home to their loved ones. Those were tough.
Needless to say, nursing school was a picnic in the park after that experience.